434 F.2d 1227 (8th Cir. 1970), 19825, Giordano v. Lee

Docket Nº:19825-19827.
Citation:434 F.2d 1227
Party Name:Anthony GIORDANO, Appellant, v. Harry J. LEE, Edwin Roth and Roey Stetson, Appellees. James GIAMMANCO, Appellant, v. Charles McKEONE and William Brown, Appellees. James GIAMMANCO, Appellant, v. Harry J. LEE and John Weingart, Appellees.
Case Date:December 04, 1970
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 1227

434 F.2d 1227 (8th Cir. 1970)

Anthony GIORDANO, Appellant,

v.

Harry J. LEE, Edwin Roth and Roey Stetson, Appellees.

James GIAMMANCO, Appellant,

v.

Charles McKEONE and William Brown, Appellees.

James GIAMMANCO, Appellant,

v.

Harry J. LEE and John Weingart, Appellees.

Nos. 19825-19827.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

December 4, 1970

Page 1228

Irl B. Baris, St. Louis, for appellants.

John J. FitzGibbon, Associate City Counselor, City of St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo., for appellees.

Before MATTHES, Chief Judge, HEANEY, Circuit Judge and VAN PELT, Senior District Judge.

MATTHES, Chief Judge.

These consolidated appeals result from three separate actions brought in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri for damages under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1983, for wrongful arrests alleged to have been made by the individually named police officers of the City of St. Louis. Motions for summary judgments by appellants were denied in each case and each cause was separately tried to a jury. Appellants' motions for directed verdicts also were denied, and a judgment was entered in each case for the defendant police officers in accordance with jury verdicts in their favor. 1

The three actions in the district court involved four different arrests. No. 19,825 concerns the arrest without a warrant of appellant Giordano on March 30, 1967, by Capt. Lee, assisted by Lt. Roth and Det. Stetson. The record shows that on that date the named officers went to 2600 North Broadway in St. Louis to question Giordano about gambling activities and a murder which had occurred early that same morning at 4123 Chippewa Street, premises known to police to be the site of illicit gambling activities and known to have been frequented by Giordano. According to both the answers to the interrogatories and the testimony of the police officers, Giordano, when approached for questioning, became extremely nervous and grabbed at Capt. Lee's arm. At trial Capt. Lee testified that he had originally intended only to question Giordano, but that due to his violent behavior he

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placed him under arrest in order to avoid a more serious disturbance. Conversely, Giordano contended that he was grabbed and pushed by the police officers and that he was lawfully and peacefully conducting himself at the time of arrest.

No. 19,826 concerns the warrantless arrest of appellant Giammanco and one Licavoli (not a party to this action) by Capt. McKeone and Lt. Brown on April 19, 1967 at an American Legion Club for operating a handbook and card playing on that date. The record shows that in February of 1967 Capt. McKeone received information from the Intelligence Division of the Police Department that gambling was being conducted at the Legion Club, that an arrest for gambling had been made in January of 1967 in which gambling paraphernalia was seized, and that Giammanco and others had been seen at the Club. Pursuant to this information, a surveillance was placed on the Club. During the several weeks preceding the arrest in question, Capt. McKeone had personally observed Giammanco enter the Club. On a number of occasions he would come out of the Club, look about the area in a suspicious manner, and then re-enter the building. On the day of the arrest Capt. McKeone and Lt. Brown saw Giammanco enter the Club. They then approached the building, found the inner door locked, and knocked on the door. After a lapse of 3-5 minutes, during which time they heard voices and scuffling noises akin to the moving of furniture from inside, Licavoli, who had been arrested on those same premises some months earlier with gambling paraphernalia in his possession, opened the door. Capt. McKeone then attempted to interrogate Licavoli and Giammanco about gambling activities at the Club. Giammanco became excited, jumped out of his...

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