Man who hit police SUV files suit against officer

WESTPORT, Mass (WPRI) — A motorcycle rider who crashed into a Westport police SUV last summer is suing the officer who was driving it.

Derek Pereira filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Wednesday against Westport Police Officer Jarrod Levesque, according to a news release from Pereira’s attorney Howard Friedman. The lawsuit claims Levesque used his marked police SUV as a dangerous roadblock, in violation of department policy.

Westport police said Pereira was speeding and refused to stop when an officer tried to pull him over on Rt. 6 early in the morning of August 22. According to police, Pereira was going 120 mph just before he hit Levesque’s SUV near Forge Road.

Pereira ended up with several charges against him, including failure to stop, operating to endanger, speeding, and driving with a suspended license.

According to Friedman, Pereira suffered serious injuries in the crash, including collapsed lungs, a fractured spine, and puncture wounds. Friedman said his client spent about two weeks in intensive care and still needs additional surgery.

“I should not have been speeding, but blocking the road at night with an SUV is dangerous. I’m lucky to be alive,” Pereira said in Friedman’s news release.

Massachusetts State Police told Eyewitness News last August that they were investigating the officer’s actions.

Westport police declined to comment on the lawsuit Wednesday.