Man says State Police used excessive force, made unlawful arrest

By Lawrence Smith | Jul 24, 2012

CHARLESTON – A Raleigh County man alleges he was victimized in a road rage incident by two people whose duty it is to guard against it.

The West Virginia State Police is named as a co-defendant in an eight-count civil rights suit filed by William Price. In his complaint filed July 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court, Price alleges two troopers ran him off the road, then beat and arrested him, all for no reason.

According to the suit, Price was driving an all-terrain vehicle with a trailer attached along Pemberton Road on July 22, 2010. At a time not specified, Price alleges a police cruiser driven by Trooper Marsh slammed into the trailer.

Shortly thereafter, Price alleges Marsh then pulled alongside him while another trooper, identified as Trooper Doe, who "leaned out of his passenger window and began beating [him] about the head, elbow and other parts of his body with a club and/or foreign object of some sort." During this time, Price avers that Marsh did not activate the cruiser's siren or lights, and Doe did not instruct him to pull over.

Next, Price says Marsh turned the cruiser hard to the right causing him to crash the ATV in a ditch. Following the crash, Price says Marsh and Doe grabbed him by his hair and began striking him.

In addition to striking him, Price alleges he was "subsequently drug across the ground, handcuffed and thrown into the backseat of the cruiser." After leaving the scene, Price maintains either Marsh or Doe said they intended to "'beat the hell out of him.'"

After arriving at the State Police Detachment in Beckley, Price alleges he was handcuffed to a beach where Marsh continued to strike him across the face with his hand. At no time while he was in custody did Marsh or Doe ever inform him of his constitutional rights or why he was arrested.

At a time not specified, Price says Marsh and Doe then took him to the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver. Following his release, Price alleges he collapsed in the parking lot, and has taken to the hospital.

According to the Raleigh Magistrate Clerk's Office, no charges were ever filed against Price.

In his suit, Price makes claims against the State Police, Marsh and Doe for, among other things, excessive and unnecessary force, unlawful arrest, assault and battery, intentional and/or negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligent supervision, hiring, training and retention. As a result of his encounter with Marsh and Doe, Price maintains he's suffered "severe emotional and mental distress, humiliation, anxiety, embarrassment, depression, aggravation, annoyance an inconvenience."

Price seeks unspecified damages, interest, attorneys fees and court costs. He is represented by Sean W. Cook with the Charleston law firm of Meyer, Ford, Glasser and Radman.

The case is assigned to Judge James C. Stucky

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 12-C-1242

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