DE Judge Lets Armed Robber’s Suit Move Forward


“That is when the assault began. All of the Season’s Pizza employees participated in punching, kicking and pouring hot soup over my body. I was unarmed and defenseless and had to suffer a brutal beating by all of the employees of Seasons Pizza.” Restaurant from hell? A customer who’d complained about a cold pie once too often? Not exactly. That’s the description Nigel Sykes provided the court in his lawsuit after attempting to rob Seasons Pizza in Newport, Delaware back in 2010. Sykes is something of a jailhouse attorney. He’s currently serving 15 years for the Seasons armed robbery plus a bank hold up. But back in 2013, apparently having not much else on his dance card, he filed suit against all of the Seasons Pizza employees (as well as two local cops) who were there that fateful night (annoying autoplay video after the jump). . .

Sykes admits entering Seasons with a gun intending to rob the joint. But one of the employees tackled him while the others disarmed him. And then, if you believe his story, they went to work on him.

As notes,

Sykes also claims in his suit, filed without an attorney, that after the employees subdued him, two Newport police officers improperly used stun guns on him and denied him access to medical attention.

Normally lawsuits like this are tossed out after a brief review by the court. And while U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson tossed out several of Sykes’ claims, she allowed the case to move forward against the pizza employees, two arresting officers and Seasons.

This is actually the second time Sykes has tried to sue the cops and employees. The first attempt was thrown out on procedural grounds. It seems that Sykes then boned up on his civil procedure enough to give it another go and impress Judge Robinson this time.

Sykes demands $20,000 each from six Seasons employees, $20,000 from each of the two arresting officers and $100,000 from Seasons.

As you might imagine, no one’s terribly happy with Judge Robinson’s decision. Newport Police Chief Michael Capriglione said it best.

“It is a joke lawsuit. It is sad to see this kind of suit being looked at. The court shouldn’t waste the taxpayers’ money.”

Your tax dollars at work.


  1. avatar PeterC says:

    Too bad he’s in prison, rather than out on the street where proper justice could be meted out.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      Everyone PLEASE write this judge:
      [email protected]
      Ask her to rescind her decision.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        I certainly don’t claim to be a legal expert, but I don’t think that’s how the court system works…

      2. avatar Xanthro says:

        Judges work on based on the legal merits of a case, not the political or practical merits of the case. A judge can’t simply legally decide to throw out a case if the legal merits are met.
        If a person is unable to offer resistance or retreat, then any attack against that person from that point is considered battery, what happened before does not matter.
        If he robbed the store, and was actually under their control and they poured soup on him, he’d have a legal case. Now, this doesn’t mean a jury would find in his favor, but the facts of what happened is determined by the jury, the Judge does not have this power.

        1. avatar Jenkem says:

          Law and politics are interlaced. Many laws made on the bench. If you think law and politics are separate, you are living a fantasy.

    2. avatar Steve says:

      Yeah, but the judge is out.

  2. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Rough treatment? This fool is lucky he wasn’t shot dead by the employees and customers. This entire case should have been laughed out of court.

    1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Delaware IIRC is open carry with some obnoxious concealed requirements and inadequate preemption, I don’t recall offhand if Newport has any un-preempted restrictions.

      Also, Newport is a fairly shady area, especially after the GM plant closed, it’s basically West Killmington.

  3. avatar Dogman says:

    Today’s nomination for the number one walking brain dead: U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson.

  4. avatar Jon says:

    They should have shot him dead! End of case. Right then, right there.

  5. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    This kind of perp really should have been shot in the back of the head and tossed into a dumpster.

  6. avatar Cubbie says:

    Too bad someone wasn’t packing when he was armed and provided the tax-payer relief shot.

  7. avatar ProfBathrobe says:

    Video is autoplaying at the homepage.

    1. D’oh! Moved to second page.

  8. avatar Bob says:

    Oh, what a horribly sick society we live in…

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    Really? That judge may be THE ultimate tool. And wouldn’t s##t like this encourage other lowlife criminals?

  10. avatar Nurse K says:

    ONLY 15 YEARS FOR ARMED ROBBERIES???? I knew inmates when I was a corrections officer that were doing 99 for a convenience store robbery where they had a water gun! He should count his blessings.

  11. avatar neiowa says:

    Delaware, Idiot Lawyer/Judge. What other idiot lawyer to we know from Delaware?

  12. avatar Scrubula says:

    Yet another reason why the judicial system is broken. If he was shot and lived to sue, they would dismiss it in an instant because it was self defense. Punch the guy trying to rob and harm people and suddenly it’s a problem.

    1. avatar PT Clay says:

      But that’s how it works in Britian. And liberals LOVE to emulate Britian in all things. I’m more surprised that no liberal has yet to suggest giving the UK back its colonial holdings plus interest–i.e., the entirety of the USA. They seem awful fond of Europe….

  13. avatar PeterC says:

    Moral of the story: dead perps can’t sue.

    1. avatar Ralph says:


      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        And double bingo!

        1. avatar Robert Seddon says:

          but their FAMILIES can, and therein lies the problem. When I was growing up, no one would ever have the nerve to pull this type of [email protected]
          Robert Seddon

  14. avatar Sammy says:

    The inmates have taken over the asylum and the courts. why should the people being sued have to spend mosey to defend themselves from a lawsuit by a criminal who initiated the incident? This, in my opinion, is a reflection of the policy of our illustrious AG. Honestly, I’d like to see holder thrown out of office. Opps! does that mean I’m a racist?

  15. avatar Herman Johnson says:

    I guess those old quotes come in handy. You just can’t fix stupid. I am talking about the Judge. If she isn’t careful he just might sue her too.

  16. avatar Jay1987 says:

    Ahh the new criminal justice system where the criminals get justice and the victims get the big shaft with no lube and some sand sprinkled on it.

  17. avatar Herman Johnson says:

    Let me phrase it this way, you can’t fix stupid. I am talking about the Judge. Will he sue the judge if he doesn’t win? They should just killed him, an there wouldn’t be any of this stupid shit happening. I could see him filing a suit if he just went in to pick up his pizza, but he went in armed, to rob the place. the Judge has to have been nuts not to throw every thing out. That’s where the Stupidity comes out.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I bet the judge would NOT advance his lawsuit against her!

  18. avatar LeadSlinger says:

    A bad court ruling in the Northeast… Who would have thought!

  19. avatar Paul53 says:

    Disarm him, 3 to the head, worst case of suicide I ever saw!

  20. avatar Attorney in training says:

    The judge made the right call. Allowing the case to proceed is not an agreement with the plaintiff, only that a question of fact is present. Judges can only decide questions of law (procedure and constitutionality) not questions of fact. Only a jury can determine fact ( was he or wasn’t he beaten severely after his arrest). the judge is only allowing the case to proceed where a jury gets to decide whether to laugh or give him 5 bucks or whatever. The guy here had to study procedure since the judge already threw the case out once. With his procedural ducks in a row, only a jury can decide what happened. This is America where we are civilized because criminals have rights too. We are the good guys specifically because everyone gets their day in court (if you follow procedure). Only savages think he should not get his chance to speak simply for being guilty of another crime. Self defense is one thing. Revenge beating is quite another.

    1. avatar Gene says:

      Also consider he has nothing else to do, nothing to lose, and he can harass using the legal process.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      “Failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted” does not require a jury. You should know that.

      1. avatar Attorney in training says:

        Money is the relief in a civil case. You should know that.

    3. avatar Mark N. says:

      As an attorney who has defended hundreds of these cases, you are ABSOUTELY CORRECT. The judge on a motion to dismiss simply decides whether facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action have been stated. And beating the crap out of him AFTER he has been detained and restrained will do the trick. Excessive force by the police will do the trick. He may not win at trial–if it ever gets there–but he has stated a cause of action. It is like that old man who chased the two burglars out of his house after they attacked him–and shot one of them in the back AFTER she had pleaded for her life. That is murder, under the facts as he himself reported them to the police and to the press on tape. This case from a legal aspect differs not a whit.

      1. avatar Herman Johnson says:

        I believe the Legal System has gone totally crazy. When a Prosecuting Attorney and Officers of the Law, can knowingly suppress evidence which resulted in the conviction of an innocent man, and get away with no punishment. I believe that should have to go to prison and serve the sentence of the person they knowingly wrongly convicted. There was a case in Texas, where over crowding in the prison system resulted in have to release some prisoners, due to a new tax to build new prisons was defeated at the ballot box. One of the prisoners that was released, was a murder that would go to what we call lover’s lane, kill the man and rape and kill the woman. He had done this several times. Now tell me there wasn’t some one else in that prison, a check forger, non payment of child support, that they could have let out instead of a convicted murder. After they released him, he went back to his old ways. Killing couples in lovers lane. He was again arrested and convicted. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that they released him for the shock effect. But the one’s who released him was as guilty of murder as the man they released back in to society. As far as I know, nothing has happened to them. They should be sentenced for murder and sent to prison, just like the man they got released. I really don’t know how they can sleep at night.

    4. avatar Aaron says:

      Getting a beat-down is an occupational hazard for a robber.

      This lawsuit is ridiculous.

    5. avatar Herman Johnson says:

      So, what you are telling me according to the law, if he would have shot and killed every employee in the store but one, an the last employee disarmed him and beat the crap out of him, he would still have the legal right to sue the remaining employee, because once he was disarmed, any further assault on him would be against the law. Now I will say this to everyone out there, if by chance I ever saw some one sexual abusing a child, I believe I would kill him with my bare hands, with no second thought that I might be charged with murder. If I was on a jury, on a murder case where some one did kill a child rapist, like where the Mother who shot an killed the man who raped her son, I would have to vote not guilty. I know technically she did commit murder, but there is no way that I could convict. If there is no doubt, like in her case, I think they should have pinned a medal on her. He will not be doing that again to anyone.

  21. avatar Escaped from Illinois says:

    If he wants to play that game, maybe he should be charged for the assault he incurred while he was committing a felony.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      I doubt they would be able to do that after he got tried and sentenced already… and as far a the employees go, counter suits are all well and good, but nobody would ever see a dime from this guy. I don’t think embroidering pays much… even after 15 years.

  22. avatar danthemann5 says:

    Boo-hoo. So they were kind enough to let him leave the place alive, and his way of thanking them is a lawsuit? Duly noted.

    This reminds me of something told to me a long time ago: “The judge only wants to hear one side of the story.”

  23. avatar Full Cleveland says:

    …employees participated in punching, kicking and pouring hot soup over my body. I was unarmed and defenseless and had to suffer a brutal beating by all of the employees…

    I pay an extra $200 for that when I go to Vegas.

    1. avatar Full Cleveland says:

      $500 if the soup is lobster bisque.

  24. avatar anthony marvin says:

    i would take a beat down for $140,000. god knows i’ve taken enough for free.

  25. avatar Chuck says:

    The way to fix this problem…
    When the frivolous suit is tossed – file a counter suit against the scumbag and the judge for to recover lawyer and loss of work costs. MAKE SURE the Judge is included. That idiot had the power to toss this obviously frivolous suit, and didn’t. There MUST be consequences – or stupid people keep doing stupid things!!

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      First, the suit is not obviously frivolous–if he what he says is true he has a viable claim for damages. And second the judge is immune from suit. Absolutely. Suing the judge would be a frivolous lawsuit.

      1. avatar jerry says:

        Perhaps you should take his case Mark old boy

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        What damages? Are you assuming he was injured enough to require treatment, then further assuming he PAID for that treatment? There are no damages.

  26. avatar GoodGuyWithAGun says:

    looks like obama’s son is at it again

  27. avatar John says:

    The world has gone to shit when I’m told I shouldn’t have access to a gun to protect myself from this guy, but also he can sue me after he tries to rob me?

  28. avatar Mark says:

    the victims arent lawyers, nor should the law expect them to be – the finer points of if or when the armed felon ” is no longer a threat” are beyond the scope of the average citizen – indeed, theyre beyond the average cop.

    take a swing at a cop & see if the response is “excessive”. hell yes its excessive & thats why intelligent criminals know better than to swing at a cop.

    when you point a gun at someone during the comission of a felony, an ass-whipping is a best-case scenario, showing quite a bit of restraint. if he had been dragged behind a car, burned alive, or eviscerated with a spoon, perhaps a claim would be justified.

  29. avatar Dark says:

    Giving the antis ammo, people! You’re saying he should have died by a man with a gun (not the gun itself. It didn’t pull it’s own trigger.) to stop an absolutely IDIOTIC court case. If it does make it, I imagine it’ll be laughed out of the higher court.

  30. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    And his evidence is… what, exactly?

    Can somebody find a copy of his pro se pleading? I’m thinking it will be good for a laugh.

  31. avatar Sid says:

    He made me bark like a dog, Mr. Walley! He took away my human dignity!

  32. avatar Aaron says:

    Important safety tip: if you do NOT want a beat-down, hot soup poured on you, and/or other various bodily insults, then do NOT try to rob a group of people who work in a kitchen.

    Getting injured is an occupational hazard of being a robber. This lawsuit seems ridiculous – what did he expect the employees to do if they stopped him, bring him a veal marsala and a glass of chianti while they awaited the arrival of the police?

    1. avatar Herman Johnson says:

      Can any one out there tell me, when one goes to Law School, what year, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, does a student lose the capacity to have common sense and morals. A lot of the students were brain washed out of their common sense when they were in Collage. For those of you, that can’t grasp what I am getting at, look at how many of our great leaders in Government (local, State, Federal) are or have been Lawyers. I have dealt with several Lawyers in my 70+ years to know they only worship the almighty dollar. Same with the Medical profession, but that’s another story. I would imagine we would see Tort Reform by now, but the Law doesn’t want it. It might hurt the Legal Industry’s income.

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