Trooper accused of excessive force when arresting Raleigh Co. man

By Lawrence Smith | Mar 25, 2013

BECKLEY – A Raleigh County man is alleging a state trooper was overzealous in arresting him for moving violations.

The West Virginia State Police and Sgt. B.R. Moore are named as co-defendants in a six-count civil rights suit filed by Robert Andy Tiller. In his complaint filed March 18, Tiller, 32 and a Bolt resident, alleges Moore used excessive force after charging him with expired registration of his motorcycle two years ago.

According to Tiller’s complaint, Moore arrived at his home at an unspecified time on Feb. 14, 2011, to charge him with expired registration after he and another unnamed trooper, while on routine road patrol, observed two men driving dirt bikes on W. Va. Route 99. Tiller says he later learned Moore found out about him after speaking with the driver of the other motorcycle, who is not identified in court records.

Upon arrival at his home, Tiller says Moore “ran throughout his yard,” then handcuffed him while his children were present. After he was arrested, Tiller alleges Moore threw him off his porch down at least eight steps, and “repeatedly struck” him.

In his suit, Tiller avers he neither was “armed with any weapon of any kind,” nor “under the influence of alcohol or any kind of drug.”

After arresting him, Tiller says Moore went inside his house, and began a search of his property. Moore’s search was conducted without a “warrant, exigent circumstances or [his] permission” to conduct, Tiller says.

Along with violation of his constitutional rights, Tiller says he suffered “unnecessary infliction of pain and suffering” as a result of Moore’s arrest including “abrasions and contusions” to his “back, wrists, shoulders and elbows.” His suit includes claims of excessive battery, and intentional outrageous conduct.

Col. Jay Smithers, WVSP superintendent, is named as a co-defendant in the suit.

Tiller seeks unspecified damages, interest, court costs and attorneys fees. He is represented by Beckley attorneys Kyle G. Lusk and Matthew A. Bradford.

The case is assigned to Judge Irene C. Berger.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, case number 13-cv-5385

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