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New Bedford family of man who died after Fall River Police shooting suing for $34 million



Photo courtesy of Bristol County District Attorney's Office

This week, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family of a New Bedford man who was fatally shot in 2017.

19-year-old Larry Ruiz-Barreto on November 12, 2017, sustained fatal injuries after he was shot by a Fall River police officer during an alleged drag racing incident.

The lawsuit is being filed due to what the parties feel were federal civil, constitutional, and human rights violations against Ruiz-Barreto.

The plantiffs, Jaylimar Natal-Lugo, Larry Ruiz-Barreto estate, Demix Ruiz, Leslie Lugo, Jonathan Ruiz-Hernandez, Miguel Sanchez, and Jose Ruiz-Hernandez are suing the City of Fall River, former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, the Fall River Police Department, and Officers Nicholas Hoar, Daniel Racine, Albert Dupere, and several other officers for a combined $34 million.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office ruled in March of 2018 that the police shooting resulting in the death of Ruiz-Barreto at the Fall River Industrial Park was justified.

The shooting occurred just after 11:37 p.m., near Airport and Riggenbach roads. According to the report, police radio scanner reports show that Officer Hoar was the first one to arrive at the scene, where a drag race was organized through the Facebook group “Low Budget Racing”.

The report stated Ruiz-Barreto refused to stop for the officer. At one point shaking his head no. Ruiz-Barreto drove at Hoar knowing he was in front of the vehicle. Hoar could not avoid the vehicle due to cars leaving the scene and was knocked off of his feet and pushed onto the hood of the vehicle. With the officer kissing the windshield with his firearm, investigators said Ruiz-Barreto refused to stop his car. Hoar shot Ruiz-Barreto after the driver hit the gas despite several requests for him to stop the vehicle. Officer Hoar was treated at Saint Anne’s hospital for knee pain after the incident.

 Ruiz-Barreto was later pronounced dead at Charlton Memorial Hospital.

According to the lawsuit, at the time that Fall River Police Officer Nicholas Hoar stopped the Ruiz-Barreto vehicle, he lacked reasonable suspicion that Larry Ruiz-Barreto was committing a crime, and Larry Ruiz-Barreto was not committing a traffic violation. Therefore, the stop and any continued detention violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.

The lawsuit also states that the suing parties believe that Officer Nicholas Hoar and Officer Allan Correiro and unknown John Does violated police protocol by fabricating a coverup story, after realizing that Officer Hoar had violated police protocols and killed Ruiz-Barreto.

The suit goes on to say that no eyewitnesses to the event saw Officer Hoar in front of the Acura or on its hood and none saw the Acura move – they observed Officer Hoar standing off to the driver’s side of the 1997 Acura while shooting, where his life was not in danger, and which is a violation of police protocol.

The lawsuit was filed by the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Ltd and the Law Office of Andrew J. Couture.


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