PAKERSBURG -- A Wood County man is suing the City of Parkersburg, and three of its police officers alleging they violated his civil rights following a visit to his home last year.
Along with the city, Timothy Michael Mazza filed suit against Nathan E. Dueley, M.W. Eichhorn and R.H. Kohler in U.S. District Court. In his four-count complaint filed on June 17, Mazza, 37, alleges the three unlawfully arrested, detained and brutalized him in October.
According to his suit, Mazza alleges Dueley, Eichhorn and Kohler entered his home on Oct. 30 "without probable cause and without a warrant of entry or arrest." After entering his home, Mazza alleges the three "viciously assaulted, kicked and stuck" him all the while "cursing, belittling, humiliating and degrading [him] and using derogatory terms."
The "verbal and emotional battery" continued, Mazza alleges, after he was arrested and taken to the Parkersburg Police station where he was "ordered to sign official documents without being permitted to fully read and amend the same," before being release eight hours later. The suit makes no mention of what prompted the encounter between Mazza and the officers.
According to the criminal complaint he filed in Wood Magistrate Court, Kohler states he and Eichhorn responded to a complaint of a fight taking place on Beech Street. They were advised Mazza was "intoxicated and started an argument with another neighbor."
Upon arrival at his home, Kohler says he found Mazza to be "loud and disorderly." Sometime thereafter, Kohler alleges Mazza "grabbed [my] uniform shirt and assumed a combative stance in front of Ptl. M.W. Eichhorn."
Records show Mazza was charged with one count of battery, and assault on an officer. He was released on $2,000 bond.
Records are unclear as to what role Dueley played in Mazza's arrest.
On Jan. 13, George Cosenza, Mazza's attorney, made a motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds the officers entered his home without permission, justification and in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Also, Cosenza claimed the officers "physically prevented [him] from re-entering his home when he was not under arrest or in custody after he made a decision not to speak to the officers as is his right under the Fifth Amendment."
Records show Magistrate Joyce Purkey granted the motion on March 8.
In his suit, Mazza alleges as a result of the altercation, and arrest he's "sustained physical, mental and emotional damages, incurred medical expenses, suffered embarrassment, humiliation, annoyance, inconvenience, deprivation of liberty, sustained lost wages and loss of future wages." Also, he says Dueley's, Kohler's and Eichhorn's actions were "willful, wanton, intentional, malicious and done with callous and reckless disregard for [his] constitutional rights."
Mazza seeks unspecified damages, court costs and attorney fees. He represented by former Kanawha County Prosecutor Michael T. Clifford, and Union attorney John H. Bryan.
The case is assigned to Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, case number 10-cv-834