Rough arrest leads to suit against Dunbar officer

Lawrence Smith Apr. 2, 2010, 2:55am


McCormick

CHARLESTON - The city of Dunbar and one of its officers is named in personal injury suit by a Cross Lanes man following his arrest for DUI last year.

Raymond D. McCormick II filed suit in Kanawha Circuit Court against the city of Dunbar, and Raymond O. Conley. In his complaint filed on March 17, McCormick,32, alleges after he was roughed up following an arrest, Conley ignored his pleas for medical attention while he responded to a domestic dispute.

According to his complaint, McCormick was traveling along W. Va. 25 in Dunbar on March 25, 2009 when he was stopped by Conley. Despite his cooperation, McCormick alleges Conley "physically grabbed [him] and forcibly threw him against his own vehicle."

Immediately, McCormick alleges he felt a severe pain in his chest. Though he asked for medical treatment, McCormick says Conley placed him in the back of his cruiser.

Still feeling pain, McCormick says he again asked for medical treatment which Conley ignored. Instead of taking him directly to the police station for processing, McCormick alleges Conley answered a domestic dispute call.

At a time not stated in his complaint, McCormick says Conley took him to the police station. No additional information is provided about what happened next except that Conley continued to ignore his pleas for medical help.

According to the criminal complaint he filed against McCormick in Kanawha Magistrate Court, Conley stopped him at an unspecified time on March 25 when he noticed McCormick's GMC truck crossed over the centerline. Upon approaching McCormick, Conley says he noticed "his eyes to be glassy and bloodshot...[h]is speech slow and slurred...[and] the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath."

After McCormick admitted to drinking three beers, Conley asked him to exit the vehicle and take a field sobriety test. According to his complaint, Conley alleges McCormick failed three tests and was "unsteady as he walked on the roadside."

After doing a check on McCormick's license, Conley found it was revoked due to a previous DUI charge. Following his arrest of McCormick, Conley said he "transported [McCormick] to police HQS where he was given a copy of the WV implied consent and it was read to him as well."

According to this complaint, Conley says McCormick refused to sign it, but agreed to take breathalyzer after 15 minutes. The result showed McCormick had a blood alcohol content of .252.

Records show following a brief incarceration, McCormick was released on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond. He was charged with one count each of second offense DUI, and driving on a revoked license for DUI.

Magistrate Pete Lopez dismissed the charges on Oct. 29, when Conley failed to appear for McCormick's trial.

A week after his arrest, McCormick alleges he was diagnosed at CAMC Urgent Care with a rib contusion. After a visit to Holzer Clinic shortly thereafter, McCormick says he was "diagnosed with deep bruising in the area of his ribs and left arm."

In his suit, McCormick alleges his injuries were a result of Conley "intentionally and maliciously attack[ing]" and "intentionally or negligently fail[ing] to provide [him] with medical assistance." As a result of his injuries, McCormick alleges his suffered "past and future pain and suffering, past and future medical bills, permanent injury and mental anguish."

McCormick seeks unspecified damages, court costs, attorney fees and interest. He is represented by Mark W. Carbone with the Charleston law firm of Carbone and Blaydes.

The case is assigned to Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 10-C-512; Kanawha Magistrate Court, case numbers 09-M-3675 and 3676

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