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Judge Says He Was Victimized by Police

(CN) - A family court judge in West Virginia said he was wrongly arrested for battery after a nurse with whom he had an argument in a local hospital reported the "incident" to her deputy sheriff husband.

Kanawha County Family Court Judge D. Mark Snyder says in a complaint filed in the county's circuit court that he went to the Charleston Area Medical Center on November 4, 2013, to visit a friend recovering from an amputation.

Snyder says when he arrived at the hospital he learned the friend, Anthony Serreno, had been diagnosed with requiring further amputation and was being transferred from the second to fifth floor of the facility.

Snyder says Serreno was given a meal on the second floor, and told to take it with him when orderlies came to move him, the result being his having to eat his meal in a hallway.

Despite the haste of getting Serreno up to the fifth floor, Snyder says, there was a significant delay in getting him situated in his room. Once on the fifth floor, Serreno's care was assigned to nurse Stephanie King.

"[U]pon information and belief, Defendant, Charleston Area Medical Center, Inc. was aware that there were issues with the quality of patient care on the fifth floor of General Division generally, and in particular Defendant Stephanie King had prior issue with the quality of patient care being delivered," the complaint says.

Snyder says King virtually ignored his friend once he arrived on the fifth floor, leaving him waiting in a wheelchair in the hallway for an extended period of time.

He says when asked, King blamed the delay on the Medical Center and an "obscure rule that required a new admission of the patient despite his move from one floor of the facility to another."

A short time later, Snyder says, he asked King when Serreno might be moved to his bed and receive his medication. King he says, claimed to have already made the bed, but when they went back to the room, it had in fact not been made.

"Defendant King, apparently in an attempt to cover her own neglect of duty to the patient, began to scream and yell that Plaintiff had touched her and yelled to the staff to contact security and demanded that Plaintiff leave the facility," the complaint says.

Snyder says he and another friend, Clint Crawford, complied with the nurse's order that they leave, bit stopped at the security desk at the first floor to find out how to file a formal complaint about the treatment they received.

Sometime after Snyder left the hospital, King contacted her husband, Roane County Deputy Sheriff Mike King, who called the City of Charleston Police Department about the incident.

The Department issued an arrest warrant for the judge, and Snyder says he promptly turned himself in.

Then, on May 2, 2014, "while the battery charges were pending against the Plaintiff, Members of Defendant City of Charleston Police Department appeared en masse at the personal residence of the Plaintiff on the pretext of looking for a missing person and demanded entry into the said residence.," the complaint says.

Snyder says his daughter initially refused to allow the officers inside, and that hearing the commotion downstairs, made his way to door, asking "What is going on?"

At this point, he says, the officers entered his home without permission, probably cause, justification or warrant.

Snyder says he was subsequently acquitted of the charges by a jury in the Magistrate of Kanawha County, and that Judicial ethics charges lodged against him as a result of the criminal proceeding were dismissed as well.

"[T]he verbal abuse, false allegations of a battery, procuring the warrant, arrest, unreasonable search and entry of his home and trial of the Plaintiff were exclusively the result of the malicious, illegal and wrongful acts of the Defendants," the complaint says.

Snyder seeks compensatory and punitive damages on claims of grossly negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, libel and slander, and malicious prosecution.

He is represented by James Pierson of Charleston, W. Va.

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