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Ex-Hills Football Player Sues School, Town for $15M

Troy Zaffino claims his rights were violated and he was falsely arrested.

One of the nine Wayne Hills football players accused of aggravated assault filed a federal lawsuit last week against several town and Wayne education officials seeking at least $15 million in damages for false arrest and violation of his constitutional rights, NorthJersey.com reported Wednesday.

Troy Zaffino was one the Wayne Hills High football players Nov. 8, 2011. The players allegedly attacked two Wayne Valley High School students at a Halloween party at a house on Urban Club Road Oct. 29, 2011. They allegedly left the victims in the street, one of them unconscious.

Zaffino names in the suit several township and education officials and employees, including Board of Education Trustees, Mayor Chris Vergano, Police Chief John Reardon, and Capt. James Clarke, among others. At least some of those individauls were named in a Notice of Claim . Zaffino was a minor when the notice was sent and not mentioned by name in it.

Mayor Chris Vergano said Wednesday night that the township has been served with the suit. Town counsel Matthew Giacobbe said the matter will be referred to the New Jersey Joint Insurance Fund who will assign counsel to represent the town. Giacobbe declined further commnet.

Zaffino argued in the notice that he “was not present at the alleged location” and was “not involved in the alleged incident whatsoever.” The notice states there are “multiple alibi witnesses willing to swear” that he was not at the incident, claims his continues to maintain in the suit, according to the report.

Zaffino, a former team captain, graduated Hills in June. He said in March that  in the matter "has been hell."

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office  against Zaffino earlier this year. Seven of the players, all juveniles, in February.

All nine players were prohibited from participating in the team's state group championship game against Old Tappan in December. Hills won 15-12.

Andrew Monaghan, the lone adult at the time the assault charges were filed, at a party on Salisbury Road in July. Police said Monaghan interfered with a police officer that was investigation a noise complaint at the party, Reardon previously said.

Monaghan , a type of probationary program, earlier this year.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Scondo September 09, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Hardly a major issue, and probably non existent.
careless fills September 10, 2012 at 03:27 AM
The initial arrest was justified. He was in the group that was clearly implicated. The subsequent investigation should have eventually shown that he wasn't involved.
Gordon Rizzuto September 10, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Kelly I agree 100 percent. Time and Time again people have been saying the TRUTH will come out. It was a witch hunt against these boys and Wayne Hills football. What a joke. Suing because he was denied due process for a football game. Where does it end? Let me ask all of you if the two boys who got assaulted should sue because they weren't allowed due process. What judge and jury decided the punihsment for those two kids? None. 8 Wayne Hills football players did.
The Man September 10, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I just wonder if people had to post using their real names would they say the same things? There seems to be a lot of opinions, some filled with hate, and at the end of the day, these are kids we're talking about......
DrSmithNJ October 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM
It's a game...A GAME! I suppose you are going to blame the 3 losses this year on those players and the events that happened last year...Who Cares? IT'S A GAME!!!!!

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