Ex-Hills Football Player Sues School, Town for $15M
Troy Zaffino claims his rights were violated and he was falsely arrested.
One of the nine Wayne Hills football players accused of aggravated assault filed a federal lawsuit last week against several town and Wayne education officials seeking at least $15 million in damages for false arrest and violation of his constitutional rights, NorthJersey.com reported Wednesday.
Troy Zaffino was one the Wayne Hills High football players charged with two counts of aggravated assault Nov. 8, 2011. The players allegedly attacked two Wayne Valley High School students at a Halloween party at a house on Urban Club Road Oct. 29, 2011. They allegedly left the victims in the street, one of them unconscious.
Zaffino names in the suit several township and education officials and employees, including Board of Education Trustees, Mayor Chris Vergano, Police Chief John Reardon, and Capt. James Clarke, among others. At least some of those individauls were named in a Notice of Claim sent to them in December by Zaffino’s attorney, David Kreizer. Zaffino was a minor when the notice was sent and not mentioned by name in it.
Mayor Chris Vergano said Wednesday night that the township has been served with the suit. Town counsel Matthew Giacobbe said the matter will be referred to the New Jersey Joint Insurance Fund who will assign counsel to represent the town. Giacobbe declined further commnet.
Zaffino argued in the notice that he “was not present at the alleged location” and was “not involved in the alleged incident whatsoever.” The notice states there are “multiple alibi witnesses willing to swear” that he was not at the incident, claims his continues to maintain in the suit, according to the report.
Zaffino, a former team captain, graduated Hills in June. He said in March that trying to prove his innocence in the matter "has been hell."
All nine players were prohibited from participating in the team's state group championship game against Old Tappan in December. Hills won 15-12.
Andrew Monaghan, the lone adult at the time the assault charges were filed, was charged with disorderly conduct at a party on Salisbury Road in July. Police said Monaghan interfered with a police officer that was investigation a noise complaint at the party, Reardon previously said.
Monaghan entered Pre-Trial Intervention, a type of probationary program, earlier this year.