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Settlement reached in ‘police beating’ civil case involving Riverhead cop

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Peter Troyan and his attorney Scott Middleton leaving the Central Islip courthouse Tuesday.

Instead of hearing closing arguments Tuesday, jurors in a Central Islip federal courtroom were told they were dismissed, as the alleged police beating civil case involving a Riverhead police officer will be settled out of court.

“He is satisfied the matter is behind him,” said Scott Middleton of Bohemia, the attorney for Riverhead police officer Peter Troyan, who was accused of using excessive force against a drug suspect, William Robinson, in the town police headquarters and Justice Court building in 2007.

The incident was caught on a surveillance camera and involved Mr. Troyan throwing Mr. Robinson against a wall and striking the handcuffed man in the building’s front lobby. A video of the incident was made public in September.

Mr. Troyan, who was suspended without pay for eight months and stripped of his service weapon, was never criminally charged.

“I thought the judge’s prejudice to [Mr. Troyan] was obvious,” Mr. Middleton said as part of the reason for settling.

Neither lawyer would comment as to the terms. Mr. Robinson was seeking $500,000.

The two sides broke from court early Tuesday and met for about 30 minutes behind closed doors. When everyone returned, Judge E. Thomas Boyle thanked the jurors for their service to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and they were dismissed.

“We were able to have a meeting of the minds,” Mr. Robinson’s lawyer, Brian Dratch of New Jersey said. “[Mr. Robinson] indicated to me a more willingness to resolve the case. My client and I are both pleased with the settlement.”

The case started Monday in Central Islip. No more evidence or testimony was expected to be introduced Tuesday.

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