CHARLESTON – The parents of a juvenile have filed suit against Danville and one of its police officers, saying their son was mistakenly identified and wrongfully arrested as he was jogging down the street.
However, the Danville police officer contends the boy's conduct led to his arrest.
Donna and Harold Gray Woods filed a complaint in Boone Circuit Court on March 26 against the town of Danville and one of its police officers, Arthur Jarrett.
The Woods say their son, Andrew Lee Adkins, was jogging on Main Street in Madison on Aug. 10 when Jarrett approached him at gunpoint.
"Police Officer Jarrett, using foul and abusive language, ordered the juvenile plaintiff at gunpoint to get on the ground," the suit states.
Adkins insisted he had done nothing wrong, but Jarrett again ordered him to the ground, according to the complaint.
Once Adkins complied with Jarrett's orders, Jarrett demanded Adkins spread his arms and legs, the complaint says.
"The Plaintiff complied and once again informed the officer that he was just jogging and had not done anything wrong," the suit states. "Officer Jarrett then handcuffed the juvenile Plaintiff, lifted him from the ground by the handcuffs, causing substantial pain and injury to the juvenile Plaintiff."
Jarrett then, in a "very physical and violent fashion," threw Adkins into the police car, the Woods claim.
Minutes later, Jarrett received information that he had the wrong person in custody. So, Jarrett removed the handcuffs on Adkins and released him, according to the complaint.
Although Jarrett admits to bringing the wrong person into custody and to releasing Adkins, he denies the Woods' remaining allegations against him.
The Woods allege Jarrett and the town of Danville violated Adkins's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights
In addition, Jarrett was guilty of battery, false arrest, assault and outrage while the town of Danville was guilty of negligent hiring, retention and supervision, the suit states.
However, Jarrett and Danville contend Adkins assumed the risk of getting arrested by jogging on Main Street and that his behavior was the reason he was arrested.
"The conduct of the Plaintiff was the competent producing cause of his injuries or damages, if any," the suit states.
The defendants say they should be immune to any claims raised in the Woods' complaint because they did not cause the deprivation of any Constitutional rights.
The Woods are seeking unspecified damages for Adkins's medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, annoyance, aggravation and psychological distress, plus unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees, court costs and other relief to which they may be entitled.
The town of Danville and Jarrett removed the case to U.S. District Court because they say it involves federal questions, such as whether Jarrett violated amendments to the United States Constitution.
The Woods are represented by Kenneth B. Webb Jr. of Bowles, Rice, McDavid, Graff and Love in Charleston.
The town of Danville and Jarrett are represented by Steven K. Nord and Ryan Q. Ashworth of Offutt Nord in Huntington.
U.S. District Court case number: 2:09-366