GENEVA — A man arrested in June following an alleged domestic violence incident claims he was injured due to excessive force by Geneva police officers including Jack Montesanto, who was suspended and faces criminal charges from another alleged incident a month later.
Alexander Farnsworth, who was living in Geneva at the time of his arrest and is now living in Newark, filed the notice of claim against the city last month. It reserves his right to bring a civil lawsuit.
“I don’t think it’s right that cops are allowed to abuse their power and nothing is done about it,” Farnsworth said during an interview at the Times.
The allegations stem from the night of June 23, when several officers responded to Clinton Street after getting a report of a woman yelling for help. According to police reports, one of those officers — Ryan Camacho — said the woman claimed Farnsworth choked her after he cut himself with a knife.
Another officer, Dan Hickey, heard someone jump a chain link fence behind the house. Police found no one there.
According to police reports, a dispatcher tried to ping Farnsworth’s phone. After several minutes, Farnsworth called 911 and asked to speak with a sergeant.
Farnsworth would not give his location, but his phone was plotted near North Exchange Street and Gates Avenue. When officers got there, Montesanto had Farnsworth in handcuffs.
Farnsworth denied running from the scene and said he went to a gas station for cigarettes. In a complaint form submitted to the Geneva PD, Farnsworth said Montesanto put the cuffs on too tightly, cutting his wrists.
Farnsworth also claimed Montesanto lifted up on the cuffs hard enough to take him off his feet, and dragged him to a patrol car. He also claims Camacho and Officer Richard Baskin “ripped” him out of the car at the police station, causing his feet to become stuck.
In the police report, Baskin said he and Camacho asked Farnsworth to get out of the vehicle on his own several times, but he refused. Baskin said when they tried to pull him out, his feet got stuck under the cage that separates the front and back of the vehicle.
Baskin said Farnsworth didn’t appear to be in pain at first, but began to limp later. Farnsworth asked to be seen by medical personnel, and Finger Lakes Ambulance responded and took him to Geneva General Hospital.
Farnsworth claims he was held at the police station for 30 minutes before getting medical attention, and was taken to the county jail after going to Geneva General. At the jail, Farnsworth said his leg turned black and he was taken to Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, where he was treated for a blood clot in his leg, and later to Strong Memorial Hospital.
The Times sent emails to Police Chief Mike Passalacqua and city Manager Sage Gerling. Passalacqua referred the matter to the city attorney’s office.
“I am aware of the notice of claim and can not offer any comment at this time due to the legal nature of the matter,” he said.
Gerling referred the email to Rochester attorney Patrick Naylon, who is handling the notice of claim.
“Other than the notice of claim itself, I have not had the opportunity to review any of the reports or investigation with respect to this matter and therefore am unable to make any comment,” Naylon said in an email. “In any event, I have requested that the city and the police department not comment on the matter given that the notice of claim has put the city on notice of potential litigation.”
Farnsworth was charged with felony counts of strangulation, robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal mischief. During the interview at the Times, Farnsworth said two of those charges were dropped.
“I am taking this to trial,” he said of the criminal charges.
Ontario County District Attorney Jim Ritts said the case is pending grand jury presentation.
“As far as I am aware, there have been no dismissals at this time,” Ritts said.
Farnsworth, who filed the notice of claim on his own, said he will be contacting attorneys to see if one will represent him in a civil suit.