CAMDEN — Jurors left the federal courthouse in Camden on Tuesday without reaching a verdict in a civil case alleging excessive use of force by the Atlantic City Police Department.
Steven Stadler, an Atlantic County resident, claims he was illegally beaten by three police officers while being arrested in 2013.
Attorneys for Stadler, the three officers and Atlantic City gave their closing arguments Tuesday morning.
Two of the officers involved, Glenn Anthony Abrams Jr. and William Moore, are still with the department. John Devlin has since retired.
The case revolves around the March 13, 2013, arrest of Stadler after he burglarized a car wash to try and steal money to buy drugs.
During the break-in, Abrams, who was off-duty, pulled up and asked Stadler what he was doing. Stadler ran down an alley after Abrams got out of his car. A short time later, Abrams came back onto Albany Avenue and was stopped by Moore.
From that point, the versions of the story differ.
Stadler has said he complied with Moore when he was told to put his hands on the hood of a police car. When he put his hands there, Stadler said, Abrams walked up and punched him in the face. Stadler said he was being beaten on the ground when Devlin pulled up and released a dog on him, leaving him with permanent scarring and nerve damage on his upper left thigh.
The three police officers have testified the arrest was a violent struggle and that Stadler was kicking, punching and flailing while officers tried to apprehend him.
Abrams also testified he saw Stadler had a pry bar, which partially justified his use of force.
No pry bar was recovered from the scene.
Stadler admitted to using Percocet pills and crack that day, as well as drinking beer. He pleaded guilty to burglary and resisting arrest.
Despite the guilty pleas, however, Stadler says he was illegally beaten and there was no reason to sic a dog on him because he was complying with the arresting officers.
Jurors will be back in court Wednesday morning to continue deliberations.