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July 11, 2013

Ex-Masco hoop star says cops ran over foot during pot bust

Beverly: Lawsuit claims man suffered serious injury during arrest

BEVERLY — A former star player for the Masconomet Regional High School basketball team has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Beverly and several police officers, saying police ran over his foot while trying to arrest him on a marijuana charge three years ago.

Terrin McCutcheon of Middleton suffered a serious foot injury while being pursued by a Beverly officer who had taken the wheel of the car McCutcheon had been driving before a traffic stop.

The suit alleges that police, who initially sent him to the hospital, took him to the police station hours later, against the advice of doctors, and held him overnight in a cell. By morning, according to the complaint, his foot was in such bad shape that police brought him back to the hospital. Several days later the wound was found to be infected.

McCutcheon’s lawyer, John Moorman, says the 2006 Masco graduate, now 26, still has problems with that foot and can no longer play basketball, which he had enjoyed recreationally.

The cause of the injuries has been in dispute since McCutcheon’s arrest.

While McCutcheon has said since his arrest that his foot was run over by the officer, who drove onto a sidewalk, police have insisted that McCutcheon cut his foot on a broken section of fence when he was pinned there between the fence and his car.

According to the lawsuit, filed late last month in federal court, medical records show that McCutcheon’s foot was crushed, causing the bottom of his foot to split open.

The suit seeks at least $1 million in damages from the city and several officers involved, including two now-former police detectives, Tom Nolan and Sgt. Michael Cassola, who had been conducting surveillance and then stopped McCutcheon.

Nolan and Cassola were watching the area near Park Street for suspected drug activity when they saw a man get into the Hyundai McCutcheon was driving. The Hyundai circled the block, but at one point made a sudden turn at the intersection of Cabot and Rantoul streets. That’s when the officers pulled over the Hyundai, registered to McCutcheon’s girlfriend.

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