In 2009 an arrest in connection with the camming of the movie Bruno at a cinema in Manville, New Jersey, turned into a small drama.
Tipped off by the MPAA, the police went after brothers Paul and Timothy Epifan who they suspected of recording first-run movies and selling the copies on the Internet.
As the brothers left the cinema, police officers stopped them to announce that they were under arrest. Paul Epifan complied without a struggle, but according to the official report his brother Timothy fled and was pursued by police.
After a short chase of 20 seconds, during which Timothy Epifan lost his flip-flops and was running barefoot, the suspect stopped at the sight of two marked police cars. But while he was standing still, a third and unmarked police car ran into him and broke his leg in multiple places.
For this arrest with deadly force, Timothy Epifan took both the police and the MPAA to court earlier this year. He is seeking thousands of dollars in damages for the emotional, physical and economic damages he suffered as a result of the violent arrest.
The case has been dragging on for a few months with both sides making their arguments, but last week the MPAA was dropped from the lawsuit. The attorneys of both parties agreed to dismiss all claims without costs of disbursements.
The case against Somerset County police, who are accused of using deadly force to apprehend a suspect for a non-violent crime, continues. According to the original complaint, Epifan’s attorney writes that his client still can’t walk without help.
The collision with the car “left a 10-foot trail of skid marks, bone, blood and skin,” and as a result “Epifan sustained severe leg fractures, has undergone multiple surgeries, incurred hundreds of thousands in medical bills and now walks with a cane.”
Epifan himself plead guilty to the camming charges and was released from his one year prison sentence earlier this year.