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Man suing over viral coffee shop skirmish alleges daylong restraint in lockup

The man suing the City of Buffalo and police after an altercation with a security guard and an arrest in a downtown coffee shop last summer alleges he was tied to a chair and deprived of food and water for 24 hours while held by authorities, according to new court documents.

Darryl Mingo has alleged he was restrained and not allowed to use the restroom from the time when he was brought to the central booking area in the Buffalo City Court building after his arrest July 19 until his court appearance the following morning.

"This caused his wrists and legs to go numb, and further aggravated his severely sprained wrist from when he was assaulted," Mingo alleges in court papers.

In an amended complaint filed in federal court on Friday, the city and police are said to have doled out "cruel and unusual punishment" toward Mingo.

Matthew Albert, Mingo's attorney, said he expects to obtain video from the facility that shows at least some of what happened to his client.

A spokesman for the city and the police department declined to comment.

The amended court document follows the initial lawsuit filed in February against the city, three police officers, the security guard and Transwestern Investment Group, the guard's employer, alleging racial discrimination and other civil rights violations, as well as assault and battery.

Mingo, who is black, was arrested following a physical altercation with security guard George Bailey, who is white, inside the Tim Hortons in the Liberty Building at Main and Court streets around 8:30 a.m. July 19.

Mingo, 54, was arrested at the scene and charged with misdemeanor assault and two noncriminal violations, trespassing and harassment. He was held on bail and spent several days incarcerated, according to the lawsuit, which alleges police arrested Mingo without reviewing available video or speaking with some witnesses.

The three officers named in the suit, Eric Augustyn, Joseph Petronella and Patrick Baggot, also are white. Augustyn brought Mingo to central booking, where he and an unnamed lockup employee restrained Mingo, according to the suit.

Prosecutors sought to dismiss the assault and harassment charges against Mingo, according to a spokesman for the Erie County District Attorney's Office. A judge accepted the request in October and also dismissed the trespassing charge, the spokesman said.

Bailey, the security guard, was charged with second-degree harassment, a noncriminal violation, in December, according to the spokesman for the DA's Office. Bailey appeared in court in January and an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal — meaning the charge will be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for six months — is pending, according to a Buffalo City Court representative.

James W. Grable, an attorney for Bailey, has previously described the claims in Mingo's lawsuit as "completely without merit." Grable, in an email, called the pending adjournment "the appropriate decision because George did nothing improper" and because Mingo's allegations were "part of his strategy to try to obtain money through his meritless discrimination lawsuit."

The altercation between Mingo and Bailey was captured on video by an onlooker inside the coffee shop. The video was widely viewed on Facebook.

Discrimination victim or 'recreational litigant'? Lawsuit filed in viral scuffle

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