Putnam Sheriff Sued for $50 Million

A Brewster man sued the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department in federal court on March 19 for $50 million, alleging he had been assaulted and seriously injured by deputies during an arrest.

George Taranto, then 75, said that, after hearing noises and seeing flashlights outside his home at about 2 a.m. on July 8, 2019, he went into his driveway with a firearm in a holster. Deputies ordered him to drop the weapon, which he said he placed on the driveway, still inside the holster. 

At that point, Taranto alleges, the deputies began to beat him and grind his head into the ground. He was charged with menacing in the second degree, according to the lawsuit, and suffered a heart attack and brain bleeds that left him impaired.

The county acknowledged the lawsuit on Monday (April 5).

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