A Philadelphia cab driver filed a lawsuit against the University of Pennsylvania Police Department on Friday, claiming that four Penn Police officers physically assaulted him after he was pulled over for careless driving.
Saharo Sacko is asking for more than $150,000 in damages, as well as legal costs, in his lawsuit against the University, the Penn Police Department and four unnamed police officers.
The alleged assault occurred when Sacko — who had a passenger in his car — was pulled over for “alleged careless driving” near the 4200 block of Walnut Street on Feb. 12, 2012, according to the complaint that Sacko filed in federal court.
Sacko claims that one of the Penn Police officers physically assaulted him without any warning, pulling him out of his vehicle by his shoulder and violently throwing him against the trunk of the cab. Then, the complaint states, the officers struck Sacko on his back and shoulders.
After the alleged assault, Sacko received a ticket for careless driving, which was later dismissed by a Philadelphia Traffic Court judge.
Sacko claims that the officers attempted to cover up the alleged assault by asking the passenger to leave the scene.
The day after the incident, Sacko was told he had a leg fracture at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital’s emergency room. Sacko also claims that he was injured in his neck, shoulder, chest, back and head, and also suffered emotional damages.
Sacko is suing the defendants for charges related to assault and battery, intentional infliction of severe emotional distress and excessive force.
The University and the Division of Public Safety, which oversees the Penn Police Department, declined to comment on the case due to Penn’s policy not to comment on ongoing litigation. Sacko’s lawyer, Anthony Lopresti, could not be reached for comment.