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Lawsuit Against Troopers over Arrest in Frein Case

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The day after two state troopers were shot at the Blooming Grove barracks in 2014, police took a Clarks Summit man into custody and questioned him for several hours.

That man is Jeffrey Hudak and he is now suing state police, claiming he was forcefully detained in a situation that left him scarred for life.

Troopers testified they questioned Hudak because his wife had a relationship with Trooper Alex Douglass, who was shot and badly injured in the ambush.

On the stand, Hudak testified the questioning turned into an attempt to get him to confess to a murder he didn't commit.

"They were trying to set me up. They wanted me to sign some kind of paper saying, 'I did it," Hudak testified.

In 2014, the day after the shooting at the Blooming Grove barracks that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson and injured Trooper Alex Douglass, two troopers showed up at the home of Hudak's mother in Taylor to question him.

On the stand in federal court, Hudak said troopers arrived with guns drawn, handcuffed him, took him to the state police barracks in Dunmore, and questioned him for several hours.

"I was scared," Hudak told jurors. "I didn't know what to think. Why was this even happening to me?"

Police let Hudak go and never charged him.

He is suing for what his lawyers call a reckless disregard for his rights, and he testified that the experience left him scarred and needing counseling.

"I don't hate them (the state police)," Hudak said. "I just don't trust them. What they done to me was wrong."

Three days later, police identified Eric Frein as the suspect in the ambush at the barracks. After a seven-week manhunt, he was caught.

Frein was eventually convicted in Pike County and sentenced to death.

Six troopers testified Tuesday afternoon saying they never drew their guns on Hudak, that he was cooperative, and everyone who is brought in for questioning in a state police cruiser is handcuffed.

A defense lawyer said the last witness will likely be called Wednesday, meaning the case could go to the jury late Wednesday or early Thursday.

3 comments

  • navybluesweatpants

    What seems more likely and what makes more sense. Like, can you picture a roamer beating feet in this summer heat with high brown socks and a mesh 1985 half shirt? Or can you picture one in baggy echo jeans throwing gangs signs at 140 soacking wet pounds? Trick question, they’re all roamers…

  • Fredric Underhill

    Doesn’t surprise anyone the gray shirts were going pin this anywhere they could. Denial of Constitutional rights be hanged, get a confession!

    This and the pending appeal in the Frein case should reopen a very expensive retrial where we learn the real truth.

    I have personal knowledge of grey shirts breaking and entering without warrants and worse. I hope Pike County taxpayers has the funds to pay for a new trail for Frien and a separate one for Mr. Hudak.

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