Man says he was brutalized by police officer

By Robert Hadley | Apr 27, 2016

MARTINSBURG — A Taylor County man says a Grafton police officer allegedly accosted him without provocation while he waited for a taxi ride home.

MARTINSBURG — A Taylor County man says a Grafton police officer allegedly accosted him without provocation while he waited for a taxi ride home.

George R. Hershmann filed a lawsuit April 19 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia against the city of Grafton and Lieutenant David T. Holcomb, individually and in his capacity as a Grafton police officer, alleging constitutional rights violations and negligent hiring.


According to the complaint, Hershmann was waiting at D&L Limousine on the night of Nov. 11, 2014 to obtain a taxi ride home. Holcomb suddenly opened the door to the waiting area, confronted Hershmann (who was unsteady on his feet), and after speaking for a moment, threw him on the ground in the parking lot. The suit says the entire altercation was captured on surveillance video and ended with Holcomb arresting Hershmann.

The suit says Holcomb’s behavior was unprovoked, maliciously oppressive and violated the plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights. Hershmann claims negligent hiring against the city of Grafton, as complaints of excessive force had allegedly been leveled at Holcomb in past jobs.

Hersmann seeks a jury trial compensation for physical and mental injuries, interest and litigation costs. He is represented by attorney Kevin T. Tipton of Tipton Law Offices in Fairmont.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Case number 1:16-cv-68

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