Cop sues over 'emotional distress'
Brant Cadovius, the New Milford police officer charged with threatening and trying to extort money from the Southbury man who allegedly took his wallet and badge, has filed a civil suit in state Superior Court in Litchfield, seeking damages from the teen.
The 10-page document, filed by his attorney, Thomas Allingham, claims the actions of Taylor Cucchiara inflicted "mental distress of a very serious kind" on Officer Cadovius.
"The defendant knew or should have known that his acts and omissions as alleged herein involved an unreasonable risk of causing emotional distress to the plaintiff," the suit alleged, claiming damages of $2,500.
Mr. Allingham was unavailable for comment Friday afternoon and several calls to Officer Cadovius went unreturned.
According to court records, Officer Cadovius, who was with his two children, left his badge and wallet with more than $300 cash inside on a Danbury Fair mall train ride.
Mr. Cucchiara, now 20, was the ride's operator, court documents show.
Realizing that he had left his wallet, the New Milford policeman eventually caught up with Mr. Cucchiara, who admitted taking the money and tossing the wallet and badge into a garbage can, according to the arrest affidavit.
"As a direct and proximate result of said acts or omissions, the plaintiff (Officer Cadovius) suffered emotional distress and
financial loss," the suit reads.
What happened next lies at the heart of the criminal case.
The then teen's mom, Suzanne Cucchiara, testified Officer Cadovius had demanded her son pay him $2,000 or he would be arrested. At one point, she said, the police officer threatened to kill the teenager, a charge Mr. Allingham previously contended was spurious.
The 10-year police veteran is charged with attempt to commit third-degree larceny, second-degree threatening and second-degree harassment.
He has since been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into his conduct.
Mayor Pat Murphy of New Milford declined to comment on either case Friday, citing the sensitivity of the issue.
Officer Cadovius is scheduled to appear June 1 in state Superior Court in Danbury.