Couple says they were wrongfully arrested at casino

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 11, 2015

CHARLESTON – A couple are suing Mardi Gras Casino & Resort after they claim they were wrongfully arrested while at the casino,

Dallas Nelson; City of Nitro; Nitro Police Department; C.A. Green; and the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority were also named as defendants in the suit.

On Dec. 2, 2012, Sarah E. Magee and Michael T. Magee were guests at Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, according to a complaint filed Dec. 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Michael Magee's employer was having a Christmas party at the casino and had rented rooms for its employees at the casino's hotel.

The Magees claim they were sitting at the bar on the main level of the casino and Sarah Magee got up to use the restroom and, upon exiting the restroom, was notified by Michael Magee, who was waiting for her outside the restroom, that he had been approached by a security guard, Dallas Nelson.

Nelson, while acting under the authority vested in him by Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, removed Michael Magee from the casino with no notice of why or what he had done to receive such treatment, according to the suit.

The Magees claim Nelson called the Nitro Police Department and reported a disturbance, even though Michael Magee had not caused any disturbance.

Nelson did not offer Michael Magee to go to his on-site hotel room prior to calling the police and Lt. C.A. Green responded to the call, according to the suit.

The Magees claim Michael Magee informed Green they had an on-site hotel room at the casino's hotel and was told that he could not use his room and would have to find another place to stay for the night.

Green then offered Michael Magee a breath test, which he refused, and then threw him to the ground, handcuffed him, threw him into the police cruiser and pepper sprayed him, according to the suit.

The Magees claim Sarah Magee objected to her husband's treatment and was then handcuffed, pushed around and arrested. The couple was taken in separate police cruisers to the Nitro Police Department, where they were searched.

While Michael Magee was still handcuffed and unable to see from the pepper spray, he was tased with an electronic taser on two separate occasions, before he and his wife were transported to the South Central Regional Jail.

The Magees claim the defendants violated their civil rights.

The Magees are seeking compensatory damages. They are being represented by Shannon M. Bland.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-c-2234

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