Lawsuits against indicted Mount Carmel officers reveal alleged beatings, threats

by Emily CherkauskasThu, September 14th 2023 |

MOUNT CARMEL, NORTHUMBERLAND CO. (WOLF) — Two lawsuits have been filed against the Mount Carmel police officers charged with civil rights violations, even naming a fourth officer.

Two separate lawsuits filed by Lucas Klingerman and Jason Dillow, through attorneys Barry H. Dyller, Theron J. Solomon, Caelie M. Sweigart and Dyller & Solomon LLC, accuse three former officers of depriving their protected rights.

The three former officers — Lt. David Donkochik, 51, Patrolman Jonathan McHugh, 35, and Patrol Officer Kyle Schauer, 34, were indicted in June upon allegations that within 22 arrests, they officers kicked, punched, and choked those they were arresting.

Officer Evan Freiler was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The lawsuits echoed those claims. They accuse the officers of falsely reporting that the arrestees “acted in a manner requiring violence and then falsely charged arrestees with criminal offenses.”

Dillow’s lawsuit explained that when Schauer responded to a dispute between Dillow and his father in March 2022, Schuaer grabbed him by the throat and threw him to the ground before he took Dillow into custody.

In the holding room, Dillow requested to use the restroom, but Schauer and Freiler threatened him with the K-9 dog.

The lawsuit then accuses Schauer and Freiler of using excessive force against Dillow. Schauer reportedly knocked Dillow to the floor, pushed his knee into his stomach and threatened that if he did not “shut up,” he would let the K-9 loose on Dillow.

When Dillow was being transported to the Northumberland County Prison, Schuaer allegedly beat Dillow, injuring him and then slamming on the breaks when Dillow wasn’t seatbelted.

A nurse recommended that Dillow go to the hospital for his injuries but was never taken, according to attorneys.

Klingerman’s lawsuit states that in September 2021, he failed to appear in court for a court date and a warrant was issued for his arrest when the incident happened.

Klingerman was confronted by an officer and ran one block. He then surrended and put his hands in the air, but alleges that Freiler stunned him with a taser despite not being a threat.

When taken to the police department, McHugh and Freiler reportedly beat Klingerman, knocking him over forward and breaking his right clavicle while still handcuffed.

McHugh allegedly continued to beat Klingerman despite his pleading to stop and even strangled him, the lawsuit says.

McHugh then strip-searched Klingerman, left him naked in a holding cell and told him: “If I had it my way I’d make you disappear and no one would have to deal with you again.”

The lawsuits also name the Borough of Mount Carmel as a defendant as well.

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