Mother of fall victim suing borough


NAUGATUCK — The mother of a 24-year-old Stratford man who died after falling from the fourth floor of an apartment in Naugatuck two years ago is suing the borough and several others whom she blames for his death.

In a lawsuit served on borough officials Thursday, Yolanda Martinez, the administratrix of the estate of her son, Salomon Martinez, claims the Naugatuck Police Department should have broken up a party that Salomon Martinez attended the night he died

The suit seeks damages greater than $15,000 from the borough and from the two men accused of beating up Martinez and pushing him out of the window — Matthew Chandler and Kyle Gonzalez, who were both 20 at the time of Martinez’s death.

Additionally, the apartment building owners, Stephen King and Mark Shinagel, and Stephanie Dwyer, who rented the apartment and allegedly hosted the party at which Martinez was injured, have been accused of negligence in the lawsuit. The suit also seeks damages from them.

The incident happened on Jan. 16, 2013, when Gonzalez, Chandler and Martinez were guests at a party at 8 Pond St. that was allegedly hosted by Dwyer. Police said there was heavy drinking in the apartment and that a fight broke out after a game of beer pong, a drinking game. Police said they found blood stains in the apartment and glass scattered on the floor, according to a report.

Witnesses said Gonzalez smashed a large aquarium and hit a woman on the head with a computer monitor during the night, according to the report. Police say that Chandler and Gonzalez either pushed Martinez out the window, or that they chased him and that he jumped out of the window.

Martinez was on life support for nearly two weeks before he died.

The Naugatuck Police Department has said officers were called to the house earlier in the night for an alleged altercation. The lawsuit states that during that call, police “failed to perform a perimeter check and stop all criminal conduct at the location, including assaults, noise disturbances, disturbances of the peace, and/or underage drinking.”

It also states, among other accusations, that police failed to conduct a timely perimeter search during their second call to the apartment — when Martinez went out the window — and did not immediately locate him.

Police Lt. Bryan Cammarata, Naugatuck police spokesman, said he cannot comment about pending litigation.

The suit blames King, Shinagel and Dwyer for allowing minors to drink at the party and for not doing enough to break up a fight, among other claims.

Gonzalez and Chandler have been charged with murder and are imprisoned while their cases make their way through the court system.

Chandler’s attorney, Ioannis Kaloidis, extended his condolences to Martinez’s family on behalf of his client, but said that Chandler did not cause Martinez’s death.

“Unfortunately, the decedent played a very active role in the altercation that took place,” Kaloidis said.

Jonathan Shugarts contributed to this article.