Four people sue for alleged police assault

MORGANTOWN -- Four individuals are suing the West Virginia Department of Public Safety after they claim they were assaulted when police officers entered their home and wrongfully handcuffed them. On April 10, 2009, the West Virginia Department of Public Safety entered the home of Wanda Weatherholt without a search warrant, believing the home to be involved in drug activity, according to a complaint filed April 5 in Monongalia Circuit Court. Wanda Weatherholt, Lynsi Weatherholt, Justin Moats and Rodney Cool all claim the officers "had guns drawn, handcuffed the plaintiffs, all to realize that they had negligently, willfully, wantonly and recklessly entered the wrong home..." The WVDPS physically assaulted the plaintiffs and unlawfully detained them without warrant or probable cause, according to the suit. The plaintiffs claim they suffered extreme humiliation; pain and suffering; mental anguish; and impairment of the capacity to enjoy life. The conduct of the defendants deprived the plaintiffs of rights, privileges and immunities secured to them by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of West Virginia, according to the suit. The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by John R. Angotti and David J. Straface. Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 10-C-238

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