West Virginia Record

Friday, July 19, 2019

Mercer man claims nose, ribs broken during DUI arrest

By Lawrence Smith | Mar 26, 2013

BECKLEY – A Mercer County man is accusing four state troopers of an unprovoked beating.

Troopers D.C. Graham and A. C. Price are named as co-defendants in a six-count civil rights lawsuit filed by James Wisser. In his complaint filed Feb. 25 in U.S. District Court, Wisser, 40 and of Princeton, alleges following his arrest on DUI-related charges last year, Graham, Price and two other troopers identified only as John Does 1 and 2 beat and kicked him, resulting in him sustaining several broken bones.

According to his suit, Wisser was arrested by Graham on July 30 at an unspecified time and place on a charge of permitting DUI. Following his arrest, Wisser says Graham took him to the State Police detachment in Princeton.

At an unspecified time, Wisser alleges he was “placed into a room, handcuffed and shackled to a bench.” Sometime later, Graham, Price and the two John Doe troopers allegedly took him into the detachment garage where “while still handcuffed, [they] began to beat [him] using both fists and feet.”

Wisser says afterwards he was taken to Mercer Magistrate Court where he was formally arraigned on the charge of permitting DUI, pled guilty to it, was fined and later released. An examination conducted at Princeton Community Hospital showed Wisser had “broken ribs and a broken nose.”

In addition to violation of his constitutional rights, Wisser alleges he’s suffered, among other things, “loss of enjoyment of life… annoyance, aggravation and inconvenience… [and] psychological, emotional distress.”

He seeks unspecified damages, attorneys fees and court costs.

He is represented by Charleston attorneys Michael T. Clifford and Rachael Garlow. The case is assigned to Judge David A. Faber.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, case number 13-cv-3377

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