Alleged victim of police retaliation wins court fight, feels 'vindicated'

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FOX UNDERCOVER (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A Boston man who calls himself a victim of police retaliation says he now feels vindicated after he was found not responsible for using his cell phone while driving.

It's a story FOX Undercover first reported on in May.

Dr. Curtis Schondelmeyer took a picture of Lexington police officer John Frissore on May 1 while Frissore was working a traffic detail. Frissore can be seen in the photo holding his cell phone. Schondelmeyer said he was fed up with seeing the officer talking on his phone while directing traffic at a busy intersection.

Schondelmeyer later received a $40 ticket in the mail for impeded operation with a handheld device, but there was one big problem with that according to Schondelmeyer. He insists he wasn't driving.

On Wednesday, Schondelmeyer went to Concord District Court to fight the ticket, which he believes was given to him as payback for photographing officer Frissore.

Lexington police sergeant Christina Demambro spoke on officer Frissore's behalf at a hearing before the clerk magistrate, saying Frissore believed Schondelmeyer was the only person in the SUV.

“He observed a vehicle that was driving. The operator appeared to be using a cell phone while the officer had come out of the driveway,” said Demambro. “He noticed this and mailed a citation to the operator of the motor vehicle.”

Schondelmeyer defended himself at the hearing, saying officer Frissore was so distracted working and talking on his cell phone that he didn't notice Schondelmeyer was in the passenger's seat.

“My partner was driving. I have an affidavit that he was driving the car. I took a cell phone picture in the passenger seat of the officer,” said Schondelmeyer.

After only a few minutes, the clerk magistrate sided with Schondelmeyer, finding him “not responsible.”

“I'm happy with the outcome, certainly I kind of just want to put this behind me,” said Schondelmeyer outside court. “But not happy that the officer is doing this kind of behavior.”

Schondelmeyer says he hadn't seen officer Frissore working that detail again until this week.

“I did see him yesterday on my way home, at which point he did holler things at me passing in the car,” said Schondelmeyer. “So I feel like there's some serious problems with this officer that need to be looked into by the Lexington police department.”

Despite the court's ruling, Lexington police say they're standing by their officer's decision to give Schondelmeyer the ticket.

As for his complaint about officer Frissore allegedly taunting him this week when he drove by him working the detail, Lexington police say Schondelmeyer is free to file a complaint with the police department.

FOX Undercover reached out to officer Frissore, but has not heard back.