Man suing Steamboat police department arrested for theft, forgery |

Man suing Steamboat police department arrested for theft, forgery

— A man who is suing the Steamboat Springs Police Department for excessive use of force was arrested last week.

John P. Ferrugia, 44, was arrested on suspicion of felony forgery and theft.

Ferrugia has asked the Public Defender’s Office to represent him.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Ferrugia used his debit card seven times and then refuted the charges with his local bank.

The bank grew suspicious of Ferrugia’s claim and reviewed video footage from one of the places the card was used. Police also reviewed surveillance video at a business where the card was used.

Ferrugia’s lawsuit against the police department involves an incident that occurred at a downtown gym. Ferrugia claims he was a member at the gym and had a right to work out there late at night. Police initially believed Ferrugia might have been burglarizing the gym. According to the lawsuit, police used force to bring Ferrugia out of the gym, and officers put him face down on the ground, where he was placed in handcuffs.

The Ferrugia lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in federal court starting Aug. 3.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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