A D.C. Superior Court jury has awarded $34,561 to a District police detective whose hand was broken during a scuffle with a Washington motorist who complained that the police officer's cruiser blocked his parked car.
Detective Frederick A. Cain, who is assigned to Investigate rapes and burglaries in the Adams-Morgan area, told the jury that on May 27, 1978, he drove to the 2500 block of Cliffbourne Place NW to investigate a burglary. d
Cain, a resident of Annandale, testified that when he could not find a parking space, he doubled parked his police cruiser and hurried into a home there.
Moments later, Cain said, he heard a horn honking and realized that someone wanted to move a car.
Once outside, Cain testified, he encountered Michael A. Lamb who was repeatedly honking the horn of his car.
As he climbed in to move the police car, Cain said Lamb shouted a number of curse words at him. Cain said his efforts to explain to Lamb that he had doubled parked in the course of police business were only met with more cursing.
At one point, Cain said, he got out of his car to ask Lamb to apologize for his use of the language. Lamb also got out of his car and, when he was within range of Cain, threw the first punch, according to Cain's testimony. During a scuffle between the two men, Cain's left hand was broken, he testified.
Two of Cain's fingers were seriously injured and the officer has been on administrative sick leave since the incident, according to testimony in the case last week.
Lamb, of 2456 20th St. NW, a salesman at a local bookstore, testified that he never struck Cain. Lamb fileda counter suit charging Cain with assault and battery and with false arrest. Lamb contended in the trial that Cain "grabbed and choked" him during the scuffle and held him tightly around the neck until police officers arrived and arrested him.
Lamb's counter suit was dismissed and he was ordered to pay Cain the award.