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An Abingdon man and woman are seeking several hundred thousand dollars in damages against several police officers whom they claim assaulted and mistreated them as they dined at a Bel Air restaurant three years ago.

Also named as a defendant in the suit is the State of Maryland, who employed the two state troopers who allegedly started the altercation at Sakura in Bel Air on Dec. 6, 2006.

Timothy Davis, of the 3300 block of Garrison Circle, in Abingdon, and Tasharra M. Coston, who lives in Jacksonville, Fla., were sitting at a table inside Sakura when Davis said a man at another table, later identified as State Police Trooper Christian Armiger, allegedly looked at Davis strangely and asked Davis if he had a problem, according to the suit filed Dec. 2 in Harford County Circuit Court.

Davis asked Armiger "what's poppin?" slang for what's going on, according to the suit, and then Armiger stormed out of his seat to confront Davis, who was arrested for disorderly conduct.

The suit claims Armiger allegedly brutalized Davis and dragged him out of the restaurant.

Davis' companion, Coston, got up and tried to leave the restaurant, and was allegedly slammed into the glass window by Trooper Nancy Armiger, who was with Christian Armiger.

Outside, Christian Armiger allegedly threw Davis on the ground and a dozen more police officers, including two troopers and a Bel Air Police Department officer who were known to the plaintiff, as well as several other unidentified police officers, arrived and allegedly assaulted and battered Davis who was already on the ground, according to the suit.

Davis and Coston were each charged with second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct. They were acquitted of all charges in Harford County Circuit Court on Sept. 4, 2008.

Davis and Coston had no previous criminal offenses and were "exercising their rights to free speech and expression," yet they were treated like criminals, the suit alleges.

In the 11-count suit alleging assault, battery, false arrest and imprisonment and malicious prosecution, among other things, David and Coston are seeking $400,000 in punitive damages and $400,000 in compensatory damages.

Among the defendants are Troopers Christian and Nancy Armiger, Troopers James K. Holloway and Justin Gross, Bel Air Police Officer Henry Marchesani, the State of Maryland and 20 other unnamed police officers who responded to the call.


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