Chapmanville PD and officers face lawsuit
by Debbie Rolen
LOGAN – A civil lawsuit has been filed in the Circuit Court of Logan County by Benny James May (Plaintiff) against defendants Chapmanville Police Department, a Division of the State of West Virginia; Chapmanville Police Officer Nick Tucker, individually and in his official capacity as a Chapmanville Police Officer; and Chapmanville Police Officer Allen Browning, individually and in his official capacity as a Chapmanville Police Officer.
The suit details the events that took place on October 27, 2012. At approximately 1:30 p.m., Mr. May went to Big Creek to shoot pool with friends. At approximately 11 p.m., Mr. May left Big Creek and went to Wendy’s. As he was leaving Wendy’s, a Chapmanville Police cruiser circled behind him and turned on blue lights and Mr. May immediately pulled over.
Then, allegedly, Police Officer Tucker used profanity while telling Mr. May to get out of the car, then pulled him out of the car by his left arm and onto the ground where he stomped Mr. May’s arm repeatedly and used profanity as he called May a drunk. Allegedly, the arm stomping went on as Mr. May cried in pain and Police Officer Browning watched and laughed.
According to the suit papers, Mr. May was not given a breathalyzer to determine whether he was intoxicated, nor was a field sobriety test administered. The papers go on to say Mr. May was taken to City Hall, where he was handcuffed to a chair and repeatedly asked where the drugs were by Officer Tucker. Tucker is accused of striking Mr. May in the mouth as Officer Browning was present and laughing.
Accusations are made to Mr. May being pulled by his injured arm on several occasions and being denied medical attention while he was incarcerated.
Mr. May said he was admitted to the Logan Regional Medical Center on Nov. 5, diagnosed with debridement of the muscle in the left forearm tendon region, and was not discharged until Nov. 10, then had to have more medical attention on Nov. 14 for a necrotizing subcutaneous infection as a result of his injuries. He further states it is anticipated his arm has been permanently damaged.
Count One alleges the plaintiff’s state constitutional rights were violated causing his pain and suffering, past and future; emotional and mental anguish; humiliation and embarrassment and other damages for which he deserves to be compensated.
Count Two alleges the actions of the defendants were reprehensible, willful and wanton, malicious, and in blatant and intentional disregard of the rights owed to the plaintiff, thereby justifying and award of punitive damages.
Count Three alleges negligent retention against the defendants, stating Officer Tucker has been accused of similar acts of brutality and still holds position in the Chapmanville police force and that the Chapmanville Police Department negligently retained Officer Tucker even after being put on notice of his repeated violation of the Constitutional rights of those he has beaten.
Other claims by the plaintiff allege additional state law claims of abuse of process and negligence.
The plaintiff is demanding compensatory damages, along with attorney fees, costs and any and all other relief.
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