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DAMAGES SET IN ASSAULT BY EX-OFFICER

The City of Buffalo on Thursday was ordered to pay Scott Huber $325,000 for the beating he suffered when a police officer broke his jaw in two places after he had been handcuffed and left on the ground during an arrest outside a downtown gay bar four years ago.

A State Supreme Court jury of five women and one man found that the assault committed by former Police Officer Deana M. Hoefler happened while she was on duty.

During the trial, Huber's attorney, Christopher J. O'Brien, presented evidence that the District B log for the day of the attack, Aug. 13, 1999, had been changed to make it appear Hoefler was off-duty when she got into a fight with Huber at the Underground bar, 274 Delaware Ave.

Corporation Counsel Michael B. Risman said the city will appeal the verdict in the assault and negligence case, in part on contentions that Hoefler, now privately employed, was not on duty at the time of the incident.

Huber, 28, a telephone company representative, said, "The verdict shows it doesn't matter if you are gay, you are black or you are white, because everyone is equal under the law."

O'Brien said his client has a permanent neck scar after undergoing surgery to repair fractures to his jaw caused when Hoefler kicked him in the face.

The attorney said the incident began when Huber tried to intercede on behalf of a friend to whom Hoefler was talking.

That morning at the cellblock at Police Headquarters, Huber was strip-searched and pepper-sprayed when he begged for medical attention, was called derogatory names because of his sexual orientation and was left naked in a cell for more than four hours, his attorney said.

Hours after Huber's arrest, he pleaded not guilty in City Court and was released on his own recognizance.

The criminal charges were dismissed against Huber in September 1999, his attorney said.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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