Cop v. Cop at ‘Titties & Beer’ Party

     FLORENCE, Ariz. (CN) – Two law enforcement officers claim in court that Pinal County sheriff’s deputies defamed them after they were assaulted while enforcing underage drinking and public nudity laws at a self-proclaimed “Titties and Beer” country music fest.
     Plaintiff Andrew Goode is a Pinal County sheriff’s officer; co-plaintiff Hugh Grant is an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer. Both say they were assigned to the Youth Alcohol Enforcement Detail at the April 2011 “Country Thunder” event, “at or about an event sponsored by Tucson Police Department officers.”
     In their complaint in Pinal County Court, Goode and Grant say they came across three women on a scaffold, encouraging other women to flash their breasts as they walked by below. A sign attached to a platform on the scaffold stated: “Titties and Beer,” according to the complaint.
     The officers say that when they arrested defendant Julie Keys, who had flashed her breasts on the stage, her husband, defendant Ronald Keys, assaulted Grant by grabbing him from behind and choking him.
     They claim Ronald Keys was released soon after his arrest because of his “relationship” with Tucson police officers at the campground. Named as defendants, along with the Keys, are Pinal County, its Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Paul Babeau, four other sheriff’s officers, two Pinal County deputy attorneys, Luge and Sons Development, Country Thunder LLC, and Pro Em-Professional Management.
     The complaint states: “On April 9, 2011, Detective Goode was assigned to work as a member of the Youth Alcohol Enforcement Detail. That was a multi law enforcement agency task force involving officers from multiple law enforcement agencies assigned to the ‘Country Thunder’ event and venue. The events occurred on April 9, 2011 at or about a location operated and sponsored by Tucson Police Department Officers. At that location and on a structure (stage), intoxicated females did perform acts in which they violated Arizona Revised Statutes in that they exposed their bodies. Officer Grant, a DPS Officer assigned to the Youth Alcohol Enforcement detail, undertook to arrest an offending female. He directed her to come down off the platform (stage) to be placed under arrest. He identified himself as a law enforcement (‘police’) officer and proceeded to effect an arrest. At or about that time, one of the females, Chantel Nolan, instructed the offending female Julie Keys to run from the cops. Immediately thereafter, Mr. Keys, interfering with a lawful arrest, assaulted Officer Grant by tackling Grant to the ground and began to choke Grant using his forearm. Officer Grant, fearing his life was in danger, drew his duty weapon with the intent to use lethal force.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
     Goode told Grant to put his gun away and then chased after Keys, injuring his leg in the ensuing struggle, according to the complaint.
     Grant says he suffered a concussion, strained shoulder, neck, back and a cut lip.
     Goode says he suffered ligament damage, which required two surgeries.
     The officers claim that though they charged Ronald Keys with aggravated assault, resisting arrest and interfering with governmental duties, he was released within two and a half hours.
     Defendant Sheriff’s Lt. Blake King took the unusual step of calling a judge to give Keys a special appearance hearing, the complaint states. Grant and Goode say neither of them were interviewed or given an opportunity to speak.
     “After Keys’ initial appearance, Keys was transported back to the Country Thunder event by Sheriff’s Lieutenant Blake King and personnel from the Pinal County Sheriffs Office in a Pinal County Sheriff’s vehicle, given access to the event (given his wristband back) and permitted to contact witnesses, arresting officers and victims of the crime,” the complaint states.
     Grant claims that Keys was given the hearing because of “his ‘relationship’ with the group of Tucson Police Officers at the event.”
     Criminal charges against Keys were dropped and King and the county of swept the case “under the rug from day one,” according to the complaint.
     Grant and Goode claim that officers at the campground investigated by Tucson Police Internal Affairs Unit “were not reprimanded or disciplined in any way when it is clear by their testimony and documentation that they lied under Garrity.”
     “It also had made no mention of their immoral titty contests they have at their campsite each year which include the photo ‘wall of tits.’ It is known by many deputies, supervisors, and administration of PCSO and Tucson Police that these activities take place on this same campsite year after year. The only difference this year was something is being done about it as a result of the sexual offense being committed, Detective Goode and Officer Grant being physically injured and further injured by the gross negligence of PCSO and its employees in the intentional mishandling of this investigation.
     “In this case, there is clear evidence of a crime, probably cause for arrest and criminal charging. There is also probably cause for charging the Tucson officers with obstruction, refusing to aid a police officer(s) acting in an official capacity and in need of assistance,” the complaint states.
     Goode and Grant add: “Defendants supplied to other media and law enforcement agencies and organizations false and misleading characterizations of Hugh Grant suggesting he was a problem officer subject to a lot of stories (problems) labeled as a ‘tool’ and Andrew Goode was labeled as a ‘leech’ by PCSO employees, and this false information harmed Hugh Grant’s and Andrew Goode’s reputation when it was published.”
     Goode and Grant seek damages for due process violations, negligence, assault and battery, gross negligent infliction of physical and emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence and negligent supervision and hiring, defamation and false light, victims’ rights, and liability.
     They are represented by Gary Lassen of Tempe.

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