Man sues Fairmont police for attack

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 6, 2010

MORGANTOWN -- A man is suing the Fairmont City Police Department and the City of Fairmont after he claims he was attacked by four Fairmont police officers.

The police officers named in the suit are Matthew Armel, Ryan Lee Powley, Aaron W. Dalton and Derek Stevens.

On Aug. 23, 2008, Roy Daniel Cate and his friend, Paul Iman, attended a party at Armel's residence near Fairmont State College, according to a complaint filed in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Cate and Iman were invited to the party by a member of Armel's fraternity, according to the suit.

Cate claims after arriving at the party, he and Iman noticed several uniformed police officers had arrived and were mingling socially with the guests.

Iman asked one of the officers if he knew an officer named Bo Carr and the officer responded by insulting Carr, according to the suit. Cate claims Stevens asked Iman if he had ever been tasered and if he would like to try it, to which he declined and walked away.

Cate claims a few moments later, he and Iman were standing at the top of some stairs and were talking quietly when Armel approached them and demanded they leave the party.

Cate claims he and Iman were confused by the sudden demand and were unsure of who Armel was and asked what they had done and why they had to leave. He claims he and Iman were not hostile in their queries.

"Armel identified himself as a Fairmont police officer, as uniformed officers Stevens, Powley, and Dalton surrounded Plaintiff Cate and Iman, blocking the only visible exit," according to the suit.

Cate claims he and Iman remained polite and cooperative, but two of the officers grabbed Iman from behind and Armel hit him in the face and another officer tasered him. He claims when Iman attempted to lie on the ground, place his hands behind his back and shout that he was finished, he was tasered again and mace was sprayed directly in his face.

Cate claims he was also grabbed and forced to the ground, where he curled into a ball and made no resistance, but they continued to kick him.

As a result, Cate sustained a fractured nose; two black eyes; a cut over one of his eyes; bruises behind his ears, on his ribs and on his left leg; a lacerated elbow; and ripped ears, according to the suit.

Cate claims the City of Fairmont and the Fairmont City Police Department failed to properly train and supervise the officers and control their behaviors.

Cate is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Angela Blythe.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 10-C-172

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