CHARLESTON - A Fayette County man who was charged with battery on a police officer has filed suit alleging he was one who was battered.
Timothy W. Comer filed suit in Kanawha Circuit Court against the city of South Charleston, and one of its officers, C.A. Crowder. In his complaint, Comer, 34, an Oak Hill resident, alleges his civil rights were violated when Crowder, and other police officers assaulted him at the Ramada Inn two years ago.
Along with two other police officers identified as John Doe, the Ramada Inn is named as a co-defendant in Comer's suit.
According the suit, Comer was a guest at Ramada on Feb. 22, 2008. He was there to watch a boxing match hosted by the hotel called "Fight Night." Also at the hotel that evening was Crowder and "other John Doe officers...employed by several law enforcement entities in Kanawha County."
At a time not specified Comer alleges he was confronted by one or more of the officers when they "without probable cause...viciously battered him with their fists and foreign objects." Next, Comer alleges they took him into a hallway where they "again and again verbally and physically beat [him]."
Later in his suit, Comer identifies one of the officers as Crowder. In the complaint he filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court, Crowder alleges Comer "did commit Battery on an Officer and Obstructing by grabbing his officer by the arm and pulling it in an attempt to prevent this officer from placing other male subject under arrest."
Comer, Crowder alleged, "did also Resist Arrest by failing to obey officers [sic] lawful commands." Except for the location and date, no other details are mentioned in Crowder's complaint including the name of the "male subject" Comer supposedly was helping, and what, if anything, happened to him.
Comer was charged with one count each of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and obstructing an officer. After a brief incarceration at the South Central Regional Jail in in South Charleston, Comer was released on a $1,500 personal recognizance bond.
On April 24, Comer pled guilty to the obstructing charge, and was ordered to pay a $100 fine plus $159.53 in court costs within six months. In exchange for his plea, the battery, and resisting charges were dismissed.
In his four-count complaint, Comer alleges the conduct of the defendants violated his rights under Article III, Sections 1, 5, 10 and 14 of the state Constitution. Because the defendants' acted in "bad faith" and in a "wanton or reckless manner," Comer alleges he's suffered, among other things, "embarrassment, humiliation, annoyance, inconvenience [and] deprivation of liberty."
Comer seeks unspecified damages. He is represented by Fayetteville attorney Belinda S. Morton.
The case is assigned to Judge Jennifer Bailey.
Kanawha Magistrate Court, case number 08-M-2765-67 (Comer criminal); Kanawha Circuit Court, case number 10-C-324(Comer civil)