Heidelberg police chief sued over arrests

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A tree trimmer sued Heidelberg's chief of police late Monday, saying he was arrested and then replaced on a job site by the chief's brother-in-law.

Mark Kinsella, 43, of McCandless, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Chief Vernon Barkley.

According to the complaint, Mr. Kinsella was removing trees from a Hayes Street property two years ago, when Chief Barkley arrested and jailed him. Mr. Kinsella was charged with making false statements to induce agreement for home improvement services, theft by deception, and deceptive business practices, all of which were allegedly perpetrated in January 2012.

In his complaint, Mr. Kinsella alleged that he was jailed for three days and his trailer was seized. All of the charges were dropped in September 2012.

"Kinsella's tree service was replaced on the job at issue by a tree service owned by Barkley's brother-in-law," according to the complaint by attorney Erik Yurkovich.

The complaint alleges that Mr. Kinsella's right to be free of unlawful search and seizure was violated, and he was falsely arrested and imprisoned, and maliciously prosecuted. He demands compensatory and punitive damages.

Chief Barkley could not be immediately reached for comment.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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