United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
R.N. b/n/f of P.N. and R.N. individually
Geoffrey Rogan Opinion 2016 DNH 044
Matthew T. Broadhead, Esq.
Lawrence A. Vogelman, Esq.
DiClerico, Jr. United States District Judge.
brings suit on behalf of his son, P.N., and himself, alleging
federal and state claims that arose from an incident in
Merrimack, New Hampshire, in October of 2014. During the
incident, New Hampshire State Trooper, Geoffrey Rogan, while
off duty, intervened to stop P.N., who was wearing a costume,
from interacting with cars near a day care center. Rogan
moves for summary judgment, and R.N. objects.
of Review Summary judgment is appropriate when the moving
party “shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “A genuine
dispute is one that a reasonable fact-finder could resolve in
favor of either party and a material fact is one that could
affect the outcome of the case.” Flood v. Bank of
Am. Corp., 780 F.3d 1, 7 (1st Cir. 2015). Reasonable
inferences are taken in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, but unsupported speculation and evidence
that “is less than significantly probative” are
not sufficient to avoid summary judgment. Planadeball v.
Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc., 793 F.3d 169, 174 (1st
Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted).
early October of 2014, P.N. and his father, R.N. drove to
Merrimack, New Hampshire, to purchase a Halloween costume for
P.N. P.N. chose a rubber pig head mask that covered his head
down to his shoulders. On the back, the pig head mask was
colored blood red to suggest a severed pig's head. P.N.
also chose werewolf gloves that extended up his arms.
was twelve years old in October of 2014. He was five feet
eight inches tall, without the pig head mask on his head. The
mask added several inches to his height.
buying the costume, P.N. and R.N. drove to a McDonald's
on the corner of Route 101A and Continental Boulevard in
Merrimack. P.N. was wearing his pig head mask and werewolf
gloves. When they parked, R.N. received a message on his cell
phone, so he stayed in the car to deal with the message. R.N.
gave P.N. permission to get out of the car, although R.N. and
P.N. remember differently whether R.N. said that P.N. could
leave the parking lot and cross the street. P.N. went into
the McDonald's and waved to people and pointed, wearing
his pig head mask and werewolf gloves.
left McDonald's through a side door and crossed
Continental Boulevard to stand near a day care center. P.N.
chose that spot to draw more attention to himself because of
the number of cars turning into the day care center. While
standing at the day care center, P.N. waived and pointed at
cars, made a throating slitting gesture, and ran after at
least one of the cars on the street.
and his wife drove to the day care center to pick up their
daughter in their SUV. Rogan was not on duty, was not wearing
his uniform, and did not have a jacket or other distinctive
clothing to show that he was a state trooper. Rogan's
wife, Vanessa, was driving the SUV. While they waited at the
traffic light at the intersection of Route 101A and
Continental Boulevard, Rogan saw someone in a costume running
at cars near the intersection, heard cars beeping at him, and
saw cars swerving around him.
Vanessa got the green light, she turned left into the day
care center. As she turned, P.N. jumped in front of her car,
causing her to slam on the brakes. P.N. began to jump around
while pointing and waving at Vanessa. As Vanessa drove around
P.N., he came to her window, but Vanessa drove away from him.
After they were parked, P.N. pointed at them and began to
walk or jog toward the car.
told Vanessa to call the police and got out of the car. With
the mask, P.N. appeared to be about six feet tall. Because of
his odd and harassing behavior, Rogan thought P.N. was a teen
ager or a young adult either under the influence of drugs or
alcohol or experiencing a mental health episode. Rogan also
thought P.N. might be intending to commit a crime while his
identity was concealed with the mask.
Rogan began to get out of the car, P.N. quickly changed
direction and ran away, still wearing his mask and gloves.
Rogan remembers that he yelled “Stop, State Police,
” but P.N. did not stop or slow down. P.N. remembers
that Rogan yelled “Hey you, kid, get over here.”
P.N. remembers being afraid of Rogan and that he intended to
run across the street and back to McDonald's where his
father had parked. As P.N. neared Continental Boulevard and
was about to run across, ...