Man sues Nitro over injuries related to arrest

By Cara Bailey | Oct 1, 2007

CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County man filed a suit against the City of Nitro after he was seriously injured when city police officers arrested him.

Vance H. Parrish filed a suit Sept. 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the city, which operates the Nitro Police Department.

According to the suit, Parrish was walking home April 23, 2006, near First Avenue and Thirty-Seventh Street in Nitro. At about 10:30 p.m., a Nitro police officer pulled his police cruiser to the curb, got out and approached Parrish.

Parrish claims the officer asked him if he was in a fight previously at Go-Mart. According to the suit, Parrish said no, and the officer stated that he was lying and asked for identification, which Parrish gave him.

The suit says two more Nitro officers joined the first officer and stated they were going to search Parrish.

"During the search, and without any justification, the three Nitro police officers negligently and carelessly tackled (Parrish) to the ground, pinned (his) right arm and leg and sprayed mace in (his) face, then placed him in the cruiser, and transported him to the Nitro Police Department," the suit says.

According to the suit, when Parrish arrived at the police department, it became apparent he was seriously injured.

"As a result of the injuries sustained in the previous unlawful arrest, a Kanawha County Emergency Services ambulance was called to the Nitro holding facility," the suit says.

Parrish was taken to Putnam General Hospital for medical treatment and evaluation.

Parrish suffered a fractured right tibia condyle and right femur condyle, severe ligament and tendon damage which will require orthopedic surgery, and contusions and abrasions on his right elbow, thighs, eyes, knee and chest. He suffered more than $8,700 in medical damages.

The charges against him ultimately were dropped, the suit states.

Parrish claims he will need future surgeries, endured pain and suffering, has sustained permanent scarring and permanent injury, sustained an impairment of his capacity to enjoy life, both past and future, and has suffered aggravation, annoyance and mental anguish.

He seeks compensatory damages, and sums in excess of those necessary to confer the jurisdiction of the Court from the City of Nitro.

Attorney Robert V. Berthold is representing Parrish. The case has been assigned to Judge Charles King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-1940

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