Ohio man says Huntington officers were too rough

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 31, 2008

HUNTINGTON -- An Ohio man has filed suit against the City of Huntington and two police officers alleging he required surgery on his arm after the officers thrust him into a police cruiser while arresting him.

Roy Lee Ruggles Jr. was stopped on Jan. 8, 2007, while walking with his brother on the 800 block of West Fifth Street in Huntington, according to the complaint he filed in United States District Court. Huntington Police Sergeant Corder and Huntington Police Officer J. Leist are named as defendants.

Both Ruggles and his brother were stopped by one of the officers based on an allegation of gunshots that were heard in the area, the suit states.

After one of the officers was informed by radio that a capias warrant had been issued for Roy, he took Roy into custody using handcuffs, Roy claims.

While Roy, who did not resist the arrest, was being placed into the cruiser, "the Defendant officer manipulated Plaintiff's hands in an unusually high manner," the suit states. "Plaintiff, with his hands in an awkward position, was pushed or made to stumble in such a way that his upper right arm struck the upper door frame of the police vehicle."

Because of his injuries, Roy was forced to undergo emergency surgery on Jan. 9, 2007, to repair arterial damage to his upper right arm, according to the complaint.

"A graft was taken from Plaintiff's leg to repair the artery in the arm," the suit states.

Roy's hospital bills amounted to more than $20,000, he claims.

In addition, because of his treatment, Roy experienced pain, suffering, loss of mobility, costs, diminished earning capacity, severe emotional distress and other unspecified injuries, according to the complaint.

The officers violated Roy's Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable, unjustifiable and excessive force, the suits states.

The city of Huntington is liable for the conduct of its officer, Roy claims.

"The willful and wanton misconduct of Defendants towards Plaintiff was extreme and outrageous," the suit states.

Roy is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, plus costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

He is represented by Carl E. Hostler of Prim Law Firm in Hurricane.

U.S. District Court case number: 3:08-1425

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