Jury sides with NYC police in clown's lawsuit

AP News
Posted: Nov 19, 2009 6:16 PM

A federal jury has ruled that New York City police didn't use excessive force when they arrested a professional clown who left a suspicious device that turned out to be a balloon inflator inside a coffee shop.

Alexander Alhovsky sued following his 2006 arrest, which stemmed from an investigation of a report of a suspicious package with tubes and wiring at a Manhattan Starbucks. The bomb squad determined it was harmless, but set up surveillance.

Alhovsky went to the Starbucks the next day and was arrested after officers saw he had a similar device. He said he was a clown and used it to inflate balloons.

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The arrest was voided when a police search of Alhovsky's home found nothing suspicious, but he claimed that he suffered physical and mental injuries.