False Arrest and Excessive Force
Settled December 2008
In October 2003, Christina Robinson and Shalina Thorne and several family members had dinner at a Newark restaurant at 67 Ferry Street. When another patron began smoking, one of the diners had an asthma attack. A dispute with restaurant employees ensued, culminating in a Newark plainclothes detective, Antonio Rendiero, arresting Ms. Robinson and Ms. Thorne and using excessive force in doing so. No charges were ever filed. Ms. Robinson and Ms. Thorne brought a lawsuit (No. ESX-L-8227-05) which was settled in December 2008 with a payment of $30,000 by the City of Newark.
Detective Rendiero, whose badge number is 9276, has had at least five neglect of duty complaints brought against him during his service with the Newark Police Department. All five complaints known to the Petitioner have been sustained. At least one of those complaints led to a suspension.
Note: None of Robinson and Thorne's allegations have been proven or disproven in court. While the parties freely agreed to settle this case, all that is known for sure is that Newark, for whatever reason, decided that it would rather pay Robinson and Thorne $30,000, rather than take the matter to trial. Perhaps the defendants' decision to settle was done to save further legal expense and the costs of trying what were in fact exaggerated or meritless claims. Or, perhaps the claims were true and the defendants wanted to avoid being embarrassed at trial. This is the problem when cases settle before trial—it is impossible to know the truth of what really happened—or what consequences, if any, came to the individuals accused in the suit.