Jury sides with NYC police in clown's lawsuit

November 20, 2009 9:25:53 AM PST
A federal jury has ruled that New York City police didn't use excessive force when they arrested a professional clown who left a suspicious device that turned out to be a balloon inflator inside a coffee shop. Alexander Alhovsky sued following his 2006 arrest, which stemmed from an investigation of a report of a suspicious package with tubes and wiring at a Manhattan Starbucks. The bomb squad determined it was harmless, but set up surveillance.

Alhovsky went to the Starbucks the next day and was arrested after officers saw he had a similar device. He said he was a clown and used it to inflate balloons.

The arrest was voided when a police search of Alhovsky's home found nothing suspicious, but he claimed that he suffered physical and mental injuries.