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‘Survivor’ Contestant To Sue Town

July 18, 2000

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (AP) _ ``Survivor″ contestant Richard Hatch plans to sue the city for $1.5 million, claiming his April arrest on charges he abused his son violated state law.

Hatch’s lawyer, Joseph Palumbo Jr., said police falsely imprisoned his client, and hurt Hatch’s reputation and violated his civil rights by releasing information about the case to the media.

Hatch ``has always proven himself to be a loving parent and caregiver to his son and the false light into which he has been cast locally, nationally and internationally by the actions of the police is inexcusable,″ Palumbo said in a letter informing the town of the lawsuit Monday.

Police Chief William Burns declined to comment on the lawsuit, but says he’s trying to determine how The National Enquirer obtained Hatch’s mug shot and confidential police reports.

Hatch did not return a call to his home on Tuesday.

Hatch, a 39-year-old corporate trainer, was among 16 people left on a remote tropical island off Borneo in March for the hit CBS TV program.

After returning home, he was charged with second-degree child abuse. His 9-year-old adopted son says Hatch grabbed him around the neck when the boy tired on a run meant to help him lose weight. Hatch said his son concocted the story because he was angry.

Earlier this month, Hatch sued the state, claiming the Department of Children, Youth and Families wrongly removed his son from his home.

The state took temporary custody of the boy when Hatch was charged. A Family Court judge ordered the child returned to him.

Update hourly