Lawyers for three East Cambridge youths charged with beating a Cambridge patrolman filed a criminal assault complaint against the patrolman yesterday.
The patrolman, Peter E. DeLuca, was one of two officers who arrested Lawrence P. Largey shortly before he died in a jail cell last October. Largey's death, the subject of a recent grand jury investigation, touched off several nights of rioting in East Cambridge.
DeLuca faces a probable cause hearing on March 15 in connection with the assault complaint. At that time, his case will be turned over to a grand jury if sufficient evidence exists to indict him for assault and battery.
Two youths were arraigned in East Cambridge District Court yesterday on charges of assaulting DeLuca last Tuesday in Inman Square, and a third was arraigned Wednesday night on the same charge.
Judge Harold E. Magnuson released two of the three, who are both juveniles, in their parents' custody and continued their cases until later in the month. He ordered the third youth, Gary W. Bergan, 18, held on $10,000 bail. Bergan is charged with assault and battery and with threatening DeLuca's life.
David N. Rockwell, one of the lawyers for the youths, yesterday termed Bergan's bail "outrageously high." He said he will attempt to have the bail reduced today in Middlesex Superior Court, noting that the Cambridge Police had asked Magnuson to release Bergan on personal recognizance.
The complaint filed yesterday against DeLuca alleges that he instigated Tuesday's altercation by hitting one of the juveniles in the mouth. However, police said that DeLuca was dragged from his car as he waited for a green light.
James Graham, a fourth East Cambridge youth who was at the scene of the alleged assault, said yesterday that DeLuca got out of his car to argue with the youths and punched one of them after the youth spat at him. "We would have stopped the fight right away, except that DeLuca kept trying to pull Bergan into his car," Graham said.
Jeffrey Manson, an employee of Corners of the Mouth, an Inman Square health foods store, said yesterday that he saw DeLuca get out of his car to argue with four boys and that a fight ensued. He added, "I don't know who started the fight."
DeLuca was released from Cambridge Hospital yesterday after receiving treatment for cuts and bruises. Police said Tuesday that DeLuca went directly to Cambridge Hospital, which is two blocks from Inman Square, after the alleged assault.
Graham and an unidentified friend said yesterday that DeLuca drove through East Cambridge 20 minutes after the incident. They said DeLuca stopped them and told them he was looking for three assailants.
DeLuca has been on a leave of absence from the Cambridge Police Department since shortly after Largey's death. DeLuca faces a civil suit by the Largey family and disciplinary action from City Manager John Corcoran in connection with the incident.