Cop with Sordid History Sued for Wrongful Wiretapping Arrest
Kevin Lukart was a 30-year-old police officer in Apollo, Pennsylvania when he exposed himself to a 17-year-old girl while on duty in 2000.
He was a police officer in Braddock, Pennsylvania when he was caught in the above 2007 video punching a handcuffed suspecttwice before shoving him into the back of a squad car.
And he was a police officer in Point Marion, Pennsylvania when he arrested a man earlier this year on wiretapping charges for video recording him yelling at a man in a wheelchair.
So odds are, the lawsuit filed against him this week stemming from the false wiretapping charge won’t have much of an impact on his career.
But that’s not stopping Gregory Rizer for moving forward with his ACLU-assisted suit against Lukart, who has a long history of police misconduct in Pennsylvania.
Rizer was arrested on wiretapping charges on January 5. His case was dismissed on February 22. His phone was not returned until a month later.
And when it was, the SIM card was missing, so Rizer said he was unable to access the video.
“He’s been dismissed from at least five police departments,” Rizer said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a CrimeFriday morning.
“It just goes on and on.”
Lukart is apparently the Pennsylvania equivalent of German Bosque, the South Florida cop who has been fired six times and is currently making $60,000 a year for doing nothing more than sitting at home.
It all started on January 3 when Rizer was visiting a friend who happens to be wheelchair-bound.
Lukart suddenly pounded on the door, looking for the man’s cousin, who had outrun him in a previous incident.
“He was trying to get information but the way he was doing it was like Robocop,” Rizer said. “He was getting in my friend’s face. I walked to the other side of the room and started videotaping.”
When Lukart noticed Rizer recording, he stormed up to him, handcuffed him and threw him in the back of the squad car, driving him to the police station.
At the time, Lukart had no idea about the laws regarding the recording of police in public, so he believed he had committed a crime.
“He said give me your phone, you are breaking the wiretapping law,” Rizer said.
He then made Rizer sign a statement acknowledging that he had broken the law. Rizer signed it, stating he did not know it was against the law.
Lukart then released Rizer but did not return his phone.
When Rizer got home, he began conducting research on the internet, not only learning that he had not broken the law, but that Lukart had quite a sordid history.
“I took it up with the mayor to let him know what type of person (Lukart) was,” Rizer said. “I just wanted to get my phone back.”
But Mayor Carl Ables is apparently good friends with Lukart, informing the cop of Rizer’s visit.
Two days later, Lukart started banging on Rizer’s door accompanied by the police chief to re-arrest him on the wiretapping charge. This time, Rizer spent several hours in jail before bonding out.
Attorney Glen Downey of the ACLU filed the lawsuit in Rizer’s behalf Thursday.
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