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A Pennsylvania police officer who arrested a man for being drunk and staggering has been charged with perjury because surveillance video doesn't appear to support his account.
Lancaster Officer Raymond Corll arrested Steve Widdowson for public drunkenness in March 2014, saying Widdowson was staggering the entire width of a 15-foot sidewalk. He later testified at a summary trial that Widdowson was clearly intoxicated, according to a statement from the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Corll also testified that he took Widdowson to the ground and then punched him in the face.
But Kane's office said the video told a different story. Instead, Widdowson had been walking normally before being taken into custody and he didn't appear intoxicated while being processed at the police station.
Newspaper records show that charges against Widdowson were dismissed on appeal. He later sued Corll, the Lancaster Bureau of Police and the City of Lancaster, accusing Corll of using excessive force. He also accused the city of knowing its officers "were regularly involved in incidents involving the excessive use of force." Widdowson settled last fall for $150,000.
Kane's office announced Wednesday that Corll was charged with perjury, official oppression and other counts over the arrest. The 16-year veteran has been suspended with pay since prosecutors began investigating last November. Corll's bail was set at $20,000 unsecured at his Wednesday preliminary arraignment. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for April 8. Messages left at two phone numbers listed in the 54-year-old Corll's name were not returned.
Newspaper records show that Corll has been listed as a defendant in six civil lawsuits.

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