MORGANTOWN -- A Monongalia County family claims that a police officer took them to jail without a warrant or probable cause.

Robin, Edward, and Janice Denjen are suing Arlie Ashby, the city of Granville, and the mayor of Granville for personal injury, wrongful prosecution and the denial of their civil right for due process.

Robin and Edward Denjen claim that on November 19, 2004 around 7 PM, they had finished cleaning up Granville City Hall from their daughter's, Janice, birthday party. As they stepped out of City Hall and onto the sidewalk, they were approached by police officer Arlie Ashby. Ashby asked for the key to City Hall, and as Edward Denjen reached for it, Ashby became abusive.

Filed on Jan. 17, the suit states that Ashby began to assault Edward Denjen, and when Robin tried to intercede in the fight, Ashby began to assault her. Robin Denjen claims Ashby slammed her head against an automobile and then yelled that he was going to take them in front of the magistrate. All of this happened in front of their daughter, who they now claim is terrified of police officers.

Filed by John R. Angotti, the suit also states that the Denjens believe they were not doing anything against the law. They also claim that because of Ashby's action due process was not served. They believe that Ashby attacked and arrested them without a warrant or probable cause. They spent a night in jail because of his actions.

The Denjens are seeking damages in the form of punitive damages, particularly for mental anguish, annoyance and inconvenience, malice, and severe emotional distress. They are also seeking compensatory damages for lost wages, medical bills, and therapy for Janice. They are hoping for a trial by jury to decide on an appropriate amount of compensation, but fear Janice might be afraid of the police for life.

Monongalia County Circuit Court case number: 06-C-34

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