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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Cops Get Tough|With 91-Year-Old Man

SANTA FE, N.M. (CN) - Clovis Police falsely arrested, handcuffed and maliciously prosecuted a disabled 91-year-old man who needs oxygen tanks to live, the man claims in Federal Court. Plaintiff Clifton McDaniel, now 93, says a judge threw out the false charges of aggravated assault on a police officer.

McDaniel says Clovis police Officer Rodney Roach wouldn't let him return home after a tornado to get his oxygen tanks and medication, despite seeing the "disabled" sticker on McDaniel's car and his obvious distress. McDaniel says he drove home anyway to get his oxygen. He says Cope then filled out and filed a false arrest warrant for two felonies - aggravated assault and aggravated battery of a cop, Roach.

"(T)hat affidavit submitted false and misleading information to the Honorable Duane

Castleberry, Magistrate Judge," the complaint states. "The affidavit for arrest warrant neglects to indicate that Plaintiff was requesting his medication, that his oxygen be refilled, and that he was not feeling well and needed through to get to his home to get a refill of his oxygen.

"This misleading and omittance of pertinent information led to Plaintiff being arrested by Officer Steve Cope and four other officers and handcuffs placed too tight on the Plaintiff which caused injury to Plaintiff's shoulders, wrists and hands. After Plaintiff had been handcuffed, he requested that the handcuffs be adjusted so that they did not continue to injure him. The Grand jury failed to indict Plaintiff and the matter was dismissed.

"With these actions by Officer Rodney Roach and Officer Steve Cope, amount to willful, wanton, and reckless acts for which punitive damages should be awarded. The acts by the Officer Cope in this matter also violated Plaintiff's civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983. The acts alleged herein also constitute negligence, as that term is defined by New Mexico law, false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, personal injury, and prima facie tort. Plaintiff incurred medical bills related to this incident and his arrest, which should be awarded to Plaintiff. Attorney's fees and costs have been incurred by Plaintiff for having to successfully defend the criminal charges and with the filing and prosecution of this lawsuit, which should be awarded to Plaintiff."

All this happened in 2007. Allegedly. McDaniel is represented by Daniel Lindsey.

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