Family Suing Punxsutawney, Policeman

by Anne Holliday – WESB

The family of a man who died in the back of a police car last summer is suing the Borough of Punxsutawney.

Stephen Obbish died on August 15 of 2009 five hours after being picked up for public drunkenness. He was in the back of a police car the entire time. An autopsy showed that he died from excessive alcohol consumption.

His family claims in the lawsuit filed Friday in US District Court that Obbish was nearly unconscious when police officer Brian Andrekovich picked him up, and was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment with excessive force.

Andrekovich was fired after an internal investigation, but the Punxsutawney Civil Service commission had recently ordered that he be reinstated with full pay. Borough Council has appealed the civil service decision.

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