Putnam Co. man says Hurricane PD violated his civil rights

By Chris Dickerson | Aug 31, 2015

HUNTINGTON – A Putnam County man claims three Hurricane police officers violated his civil rights in a Wal-mart parking lot.

William Stanley filed his federal lawsuit Aug. 19 against the City of Hurricane and Hurricane Police Department officers T.W. Barker, R.E. Poe and C. Eggleton.

According to his complaint, Stanley went to Wal-mart in Hurricane on Aug. 29, 2013, to buy dog food. When he arrived, he saw the vehicle of a relative in the parking lot. So we went to the care to speak to the relative.

“Unbeknownst to Mr. Stanley, Hurricane Police Department officers were en route to Wal-mart for a suspected crime committed therein that was connected to the relative in the car to whom Mr. Stanley was speaking,” his complaint states.

Stanley began to walk away from the relative’s car when the officers stopped at the car. Officers ordered Stanley to step and he complied, the complaint states.

“Although Mr. Stanley had done absolutely nothing wrong, Barker ordered him to turn around and place his hands behind his back,” the complaint states, adding that Poe and Eggleton arrives shortly thereafter. “While this was going on, for no reason, Officer Poe withdrew his duty weapon and pointed it in Mr. Stanley’s face.”

Stanley says he then was handcuffed.

“They were placed much too tight to issue summary punishment for him questioning the officer’s behavior,” the complaint states. “Poe then holstered his firearm and made offensive contact with Mr. Stanley by pushing into him. Poe then yanks Mr. Stanley’s cuffs and wrenched his shoulders.”

Stanley says he was placed in the back of the police car and repeatedly told the officers the cuffs were too tight. They refused to loosen them.

“After complaining about the cuffs being too tight, Officer Eggleton told Mr. Stanley he had had enough of his mouth and to shut up,” the complaint states. “Officer Eggleton then took Mr. Stanley’s phone and slammed it on top of the car. He also told Mr. Stanley that, ‘We ought to beat your *ucking brains in.’”

The officers eventually ticketed Stanley for obstruction and let him go. Those charges were dismissed, the complaint states.

Stanley says he suffered severe damage to his wrists from the handcuffs and had to undergo surgery to try to fix the problem.

Stanley accuses the defendants of violating his civil rights, claiming the force used against him was unreasonable, excessive and unwarranted. He also says they unlawfully seized and detained him, and he says they wrongfully arrested him for obstruction. He names the officers personally and as officials with the City of Hurricane. He says the city is liable for the actions of its employees.

He also accuses the officers of illegal imprisonment and assault and battery. He says Hurricane is guilty of negligent hiring, retention and supervision of its officers.

Stanley seeks past, present and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, annoyance, aggravation and psychological distress. He also seeks any other compensatory damages determined at trial as well as attorney fees, court costs and other relief. He also seeks punitive damages.

He is represented by Richard W. Weston of Weston Law Offices in Huntington.

U.S. District Court Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:15-cv-12537

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