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$150,000 settlement over officer's alleged assault of student at Springfield middle school

Roderick Ireland Courthouse in Springfield.
Creative Commons
Roderick Ireland Courthouse in Springfield.

The family of a Springfield public school student and the city have agreed to settle a civil lawsuit that alleged a school resource officer assaulted the child in 2019.

Surveillance video shows Officer Lawrence Pietrucci picking up the then-12-year-old student and throwing the boy down a hallway at Kiley Middle School while an assistant principal, Otillio Alvarado, looks on.

Attorney Jason Markle represents the family. He's grateful there was a camera there to record the assault on the boy.

"So, if it weren't for this video — and good for the city of Springfield and the school for having those video cameras in place, but I am very concerned that nobody would have believed him,” Markle said.

In court documents, the boy is alleged to have suffered injuries to his head and knee, as well as “psychiatric and/or emotional injuries as a result of the incident.”

The settlement is for $150,000. According to the agreement, filed in Hampden Superior Court, the family will receive more than $92,000, with over $57,000 going towards legal fees. The family’s share of the money will be placed in a separate bank account and held until the boy turns 18 years old.

Markle said the settlement exceeds the limit for tort claims in Massachusetts of $100,000.

"I think that was because they, once it came to light and once the city administrators and city officials realized what happened, I think they did feel bad about it and I think they wanted to try to make it right," Markle said.

The Republicanreported both Pietrucci and Alvarado faced criminals charges from the incident. Pietrucci was charged with assault, while Alvarado was cited for failing to report child abuse and filing a false report. Those cases were continued for a year without a finding.

Springfield City Solicitor John Payne did not return requests for comment on Monday.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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