By Meagan Flynn
November 1 at 7:12 AM
The night began with a late-night pizza craving.
It was about 10:20 p.m. on Feb. 26, 2016, when Steven Vigneault got in his , a Chevy TrailBlazer, at the Springfield, Mass., department and drove to Primo’s Pizzeria to grab dinner for the narcotics squad.
Everything might have gone differently if not for one decision he made in the parking lot: Vigneault left the car running, according to a federal lawsuit. When he came back out, it was gone.
The chase was on. The alleged thieves, a group of teenagers, were apparently looking for a . For nearly four hours they got one, until a strip of spikes laid by police stopped the speeding TrailBlazer in its tracks. The doors flung open, and the suspected thieves jumped out, fleeing through the woods with police dogs on their heels. They made it as far as the porch of a multifamily home.
That is where, according to the filed by one of the teenagers and a unsealed Wednesday, the boys were bitten by dogs, handcuffed and kicked in the face by officers, allegedly including Vigneault and . Bigda, according to the indictment, ended the attack by on a 14-year-old boy, who was Hispanic. “Welcome to the white man’s world,” said Bigda, who is white, according to the indictment.
Bigda and Vigneault were arrested by federal authorities Wednesday for under the color of the law, both accused of using . Bigda also faces additional charges of of the teenagers once they were jailed, “so abusive it shocks the conscience,” according to the indictment. Both Bigda, who has been suspended indefinitely, and Vigneault, who resigned in 2016, have denied all the charges, according to the Republican newspaper.