Earl Eshelman, 62, sued former Altoona officers Duane Eichenlaub and Eric R. Kriner in the May 2010 bar fracas, the Altoona Mirror (http://bit.ly/IjdBHl) reported Tuesday.
Eichenlaub has declined to comment on the tavern incident; Kriner's attorney has said his client was wrongly lumped in with the others and charged simply because he was with the wedding party involved in the altercation.
The fight occurred after Eichenlaub's wife accused Herman "Bo" Lardieri III of grabbing her under her skirt. Lardieri, 40, is awaiting trial on charges including sexual assault.
Eshelman was in the men's room when the officers allegedly beat Lardieri. Eshelman tried to intervene and contends he suffered facial fractures, a concussion and a damaged retina at the hands of the former officers. He also is suing Harry Pellegrine, owner of Pellegrine's Lounge.
Robin Pellegrine, a relative who helps operate the bar, told the newspaper the tavern has suffered "terrible, terrible" publicity since the altercation, which led to Eichenlaub's resignation and Kriner's firing.
She said the lounge wasn't at fault, but Eshelman's lawsuit contends that the business erred by serving Eichenlaub and Kriner after they were "visibly intoxicated" and that bouncers didn't properly intervene or investigate the fight but simply allowed the officers "just to leave the bar."
A pretrial hearing is scheduled May 21 on the criminal charges pending against the ex-officers and Lardieri. Eichenlaub and Kriner are charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy to hinder a police investigation, simple assault, conspiracy to tamper with public records and conspiracy to obstruct police administration.
Eshelman's lawsuit, filed Friday, does not name the city or the police department as defendants. The officers were off-duty when the fighting occurred.
Two Altoona officers who responded to the 911 call also lost their jobs for their alleged failure to properly handle and investigate the call. One was fired; the other resigned.
Information from: Altoona Mirror, http://www.altoonamirror.com