Suspicion of drug activity in Beaver Falls leads to lawsuit

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One Beaver Falls resident's suspicion that another was dealing drugs led to a fight and the accuser's false arrest, according to a lawsuit filed late Monday in U.S. District Court.

Victoria Cleckley, 42, suspected that her neighbor was dealing drugs, according to the complaint by attorney Gianni Floro. Beaver Falls police Chief Charles R. Jones Jr. recommended that she record the license plate numbers of cars that stopped on the street. She did so.

But soon after, the neighbor told her husband, Saun Cleckley, 45, that his wife had better stop writing down plate numbers, the complaint said. A fight ensued, and the neighbors accused the Cleckleys of using a gun, a pipe and a high-heeled shoe in the melee -- charges the couple denied.

Beaver Falls Officer Robert E. Applegarth arrested the Cleckleys. At trial, they were found not guilty of aggravated assault and all other charges.

The Cleckleys, who have moved to Ohio, accused the city and Officer Applegarth of malicious prosecution, false arrest, abuse of process and false imprisonment. They want compensation, including punitive damages. Two of the neighbors are also defendants.

Beaver Falls solicitor George Patterson II declined comment.



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