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Man says deputies caused brain injury

A Kinne Road man who underwent emergency brain surgery in July is trying to sue the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, claiming an injury during his arrest three months before was the cause of the trouble.

An incident report, obtained by The Buffalo News through a Freedom of Information Law request, showed Charles Demchik suffered a laceration on his forehead during a tussle with two deputies who were called at 1:12 a.m. April 12.

However, according to court papers filed by attorney Sean P. Kelley of Buffalo, Demchik, 65, didn't realize the severity of his injury until July 2, when he underwent surgery in Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

"He had surgery to relieve swelling on his brain," Kelley said. "With some traumatic brain injuries, they take a while to rear their ugly heads."

The affidavit Kelley filed in late August said Demchik didn't call a lawyer until July 23.

That meant he missed the 90-day deadline after an incident to file a notice of claim. Such a notice is a mandatory preliminary step to suing a government agency. Kelley is seeking permission from State Supreme Court to file a late notice.

Deputy Sean Furey wrote in his report that he saw through a basement window that Demchik and his wife, Barbara, 62, were arguing, with the husband refusing to let the wife answer the door. Furey wrote that he kicked down the front door and fought with Demchik before getting him into handcuffs.

A rescue squad from Rapids Fire Company evaluated the forehead laceration; the report doesn't mention any treatment. Ten guns were seized from the home. Furey wrote that Barbara Demchik told him she and her husband had been arguing about money.

Charles Demchik was charged with second-degree harassment, third-degree menacing, second-degree unlawful imprisonment and second-degree obstructing governmental administration.

His case was adjourned in contemplation of a dismissal May 14 by Lockport Town Justice Leonard G. Tilney Jr.

Chief Deputy Thomas Beatty declined comment on the case because of the pending litigation.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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