On Nov. 13, 1996, 70 year old Sal Mattera was summoned to Providence District Court for a pre-trial hearing on a domestic matter. After pleading not guilty and filling out forms requesting a public defender, he was told he was free to go.
70 year old Mr. Mattera was subsequently handcuffed and told he had an outstanding warrant for a fire code violation. Mr. Mattera was told he was to appear in Superior Court and was taken to Superior Court jail to wait for a hearing. Being the day after a holiday Superior Court was crowded and, without a hearing, 70 year old Mr. Mattera was transferred to the ACI after a few hours. It is suspected an ACI guard got tired of waiting and made the decision to take Mr. Mattera to the ACI.
Mr. Mattera was featured in a Providence Journal article when the town of Cranston denied him access to records. Over the years Mr. Mattera had many battles with the town and experienced considerable harassment from local officials and authorities. This alleged fire code violation was 3 years old . Mr. Mattera had discussions with the town regarding fire codes but believed the matter was resolved. Mr. Mattera was at his store, Moonlight Sales in Cranston, every day without fail and this was known by town officials. He could have been served and/or found any time.
70 year old Mr. Mattera was booked, fingerprinted, stripped searched and questioned. Mr. Mattera was then taken to the ACI clinic and was told to read and sign two consent forms for shots and drawing of blood. After Mr. Mattera refused, the ACI nurse told Mr. Mattera his compliance was state law. Mr. Mattera eventually asked to speak to a superior when he was pulled from the chair by three guards who slammed 70 year old Mr. Mattera against the wall and handcuffed him from behind. He was taken to solitary confinement and told to strip down to his briefs. The room was so hot and misty, Mr. Mattera had difficulty breathing and sweat all night. For another example of the ACI's forced injection ritual see Thomas Livermore and Ernest LeBeau.
About 7AM, Mr. Mattera was instructed to put on prison garments and was taken to a Psychiatrist. This Doctor said Mr. Mattera was normal and should be transferred to the general population. Mr. Mattera was returned to the cell and stripped again. After about 15 minutes Mr. Mattera was taken back to the ACI clinic for the same medical procedures. At this point 70 year old Mr. Mattera was so drained, despondent and confused he told the medical personnel they could do whatever they wanted to him.
After the procedures, Mr. Mattera was taken back to the cell and a breakfast was slid thru the door. Mr. Mattera was then taken to an area and told to dress in his own clothes. Three strip searches occurred during this ordeal.
Mr. Mattera was then chained and handcuffed and brought before a Superior Court Judge. Mr. Mattera identified himself and the Judge appeared confused after reading his case. Mr. Mattera was uncuffed and released.
Mr. Mattera was never the same after this incident and died before seeing any measure of justice for his civil rights violations.