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Streamwood, cop hit with lawsuit over videotaped beating
By Ted Cox | Daily Herald Staff

Video frame grabs of Streamwood police officer James Mandarino allegedly beating a motorist.


James Mandarino, the Streamwood police officer accused of beating a motorist with a baton during a traffic stop as captured by his dashboard video camera, top, exits the Cook County courthouse at 26th and California in Chicago April 15.


Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

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Published: 5/28/2010 12:04 AM

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Ronald Bell, the man seen beaten by Cpl. James Mandarino on a squad-car dashboard video in March, filed a federal suit against the officer and the village of Streamwood Thursday.

The 10-count suit charges excessive force, and also names other Streamwood officers as defendants on allegations of false arrest and imprisonment, conspiracy, failure to intervene, denial of medical attention, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Nolan Stalbaum, 38, of Glendale Heights, the passenger seen apparently Tasered by Mandarino on the video, joined the 28-year-old Bell as a plaintiff in the suit, as did Bell's brother Stacey Bell and his wife, Sheila Bell, who all reside in the Streamwood home where the incident took place in the driveway.

Mandarino, 41, a 15-year veteran on the Streamwood force, was charged by the Cook County state's attorney with aggravated battery and official misconduct last month, when he was placed on paid administrative leave, and was indicted by a grand jury on the charges last week.

The suit lays out what has already been widely reported: that Bell and Stalbaum were stopped by Mandarino in the predawn hours of March 28 as they pulled into the Bells' driveway and that Mandarino Tasered Stalbaum and then beat Bell approximately 15 times about the face, neck, shoulders and arms as Bell knelt prone before him in a compliant position.

Bell and Stalbaum were hospitalized, with Bell treated for a concussion. Bell was charged with reckless driving and driving under the influence, and both men were charged with resisting arrest, but all charges were dropped the first week of April as an investigation into the incident proceeded.

The suit also charges other officers with involvement after the beating and the village with indemnification.

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and asks for a jury trial.

Streamwood President Billie Roth did not return a call for comment.