Vet says violent arrest caused brain trauma

By John O'Brien | Sep 14, 2006

MARTINSBURG - While handing out American and Prisoner of War flags in Martinsburg, a 59-year-old man says the city's police force arrested him and caused an injury to his brain that required surgery.

Charles White is suing the Martinsburg Police Department and officers whose identities are currently unknown in Berkeley Circuit Court in a lawsuit filed Aug. 21.

On Aug. 24, 2004, he says he was handing out flags from his wheelchair when he was confronted by several police officers and was arrested.

"Upon information and belief, during the arrest, Plaintiff obtained a blunt force trauma contusion to his head," the complaint says. "Defendants transported Mr. White to the Eastern Regional Jail for processing and did not render first aid to Mr. White.

"Mr. White remained jailed overnight without receiving any medical treatment for his injuries."

Following his release, White says he sought treatment at the Martinsburg Veterans Administration Hospital, where the physicians immediately decided to transport him to Winchester Medical Center in Virginia.

"Mr. White underwent emergency brain surgery to resolve an intracranial hemorrhage caused by the blunt force trauma outlined herein," the complaint says.

White charges the defendants with negligence, respondeat superior liability and excessive force.

"Mr. White, who was in a wheelchair, posed no immediate threat or danger to defendants or to the public, and he did not actively resist defendants," the complaint says.

White seeks compensatory, actual and punitive damages and is represented by Gregory Bailey of Shepherdstown law firm Arnold, Cesare and Bailey.

Judge David Sanders has been assigned the case.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 06-C-616

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