Tow Truck employees arrested in retaliation for towing unmarked cars (lawsuit filed)

Oldgamer

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2013
3,280
1
0
Towing company employees who seized unmarked police cars sue Salem Police over arrest

Bradley Kelley and Timothy Hall thought they were following their towing company policy and city code when they asked for proof of ownership and identification before releasing three impounded cars to a group of men seeking the vehicles.

The cars, it turned out, were unmarked police cars. The men, two of whom wore police uniforms, were from Salem Police, Keizer Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, according to a federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Portland.

But that's when Sgt. Andrew Roberts flashed his badge at the two tow-truck employees, telling them that it was all the identification he needed to get the cars, the complaint states. The employees soon found themselves arrested and handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.

The arrest is at the heart of a lawsuit filed in the fall by the two men and their employer alleging malicious prosecution, abuse of process and negligence by the officers and their agencies. Although a Polk County jury acquitted the tow-truck employees of obstruction of governmental administration, their employer spent thousands defending the two men in the yearlong prosecution, the complaint states.

The case is making its way through federal court with a hearing Tuesday. Lawyers for the city of Keizer are asking a judge to dismiss most of the claims against the lone officer from Keizer Police, saying he played no role in the arrests or in initiating the Polk County prosecution.

The incident dates to January 2012, when a business owner noticed unauthorized cars in the lot at 4743 Lancaster Drive NE, the complaint states. The business owner left a note on the windshield and, the next day, spoke personally with one of the drivers who "responded with expletives" that they would not be moving the cars, the lawsuit states.

The business owner notified the property trustee, who then called Bales and Brady Towing West to haul the unauthorized vehicles away.

Employees Kelley and Hall arrived at the lot, saw the five cars but didn't see anyone around. They photographed the vehicles before starting to tow them.

After moving three of the vehicles to the tow lot, two officers arrived at the towing company office asking to retrieve the unmarked police cars. They were unable to provide license plate or the vehicle ID number or other proof of ownership, the complaint states, but one officer was allowed to retrieve a bag that had his name on it from one of the cars. The two officers left, saying they would return with the necessary information, the complaint states.

Shortly after, a larger group of plainclothes and uniformed officers appeared, leading to the exchange with Roberts and their eventual arrest.

The officers lacked probable cause to arrest the two men, the lawsuit states, violating their constitutional right to due process and protection against unreasonable seizure. The officers did not tell them what crime they were accused of committing, the plaintiffs claim, and they also accuse Roberts of threatening their lawyer with arrest if he kept asking questions. An assistant city attorney for Salem declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The employees, their boss and the company are seeking recovery of lost income and profits. The employees also are asking for $500,000 each in pain and suffering and are additionally seeking punitive damages due to the "reckless disregard" the officers showed for their constitutional rights, the lawsuit contends.

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Well where I live it is the city's policy to require proof of ownership. However I don't know what Portland's policies are, but it seems to me the tow truck employee's were following proper procedure.
 

Oldgamer

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2013
3,280
1
0
Quote: "Before being transported to Polk County Jail, Defendants Kelley and Hall were held, handcuffed, in the back of a police cruiser in the BBW parking lot for approximately one hour. During that time, their attorney arrived, identified himself as the attorney for Kelley and Hall, and attempted to speak with the officer in charge at the scene, later identified as Defendant Roberts, to determine the charges against his clients. The attorney was informed that Kelley and Hall were grown men and could tell him what the charges were. When their attorney attempted to speak to Kelley and Hall, Roberts instructed him to back away from the vehicle and to not speak with Kelley and Hall. After being told by Roberts not to speak with his clients, the attorney inquired as to whether the officers provided BBW with proper identification to retrieve the vehicles. Roberts told the attorney he did not need to provide him with any information and, instead, told him if he had any other questions, he would be placed under arrest as well."
 

Scotteq

Diamond Member
Apr 10, 2008
5,276
5
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All Hail our Blue Overlords...



...or pay the penalties


83403786.jpg
 

Paratus

Lifer
Jun 4, 2004
16,662
13,400
146
I think that PD is going to find out that keeping on these types of police officers is about to become extremely expensive.
 

KK

Lifer
Jan 2, 2001
15,903
4
81
I hope those police officers get gunned down. Be the best thing for them.
 

marvdmartian

Diamond Member
Apr 12, 2002
5,549
19
81
I hope those police officers get gunned down. Be the best thing for them.

Very possibly, the dumbest thing I'll read all week, and the week just started!

Suspended with pay? Let's hope not!
Suspended without pay? Absolutely!
Fired? If necessary.
GUNNED DOWN??? o_O :rolleyes:
 

KK

Lifer
Jan 2, 2001
15,903
4
81
Very possibly, the dumbest thing I'll read all week, and the week just started!

Suspended with pay? Let's hope not!
Suspended without pay? Absolutely!
Fired? If necessary.
GUNNED DOWN??? o_O :rolleyes:

ahh, you must not have read my other posts. ():)
 

TechBoyJK

Lifer
Oct 17, 2002
16,701
60
91
Anybody working in any public capacity needs to get it through their head they need to follow the straight and narrow or else be lynched in social media.

"Do you really want to be 'that' guy on youtube this week, officer?"
 

TreVader

Platinum Member
Oct 28, 2013
2,057
2
0
Towing companies and cops deserve each other, they're both fucking scumbag jobs.




Fuck em.
 

Knowing

Golden Member
Mar 18, 2014
1,522
13
46
The more time the tow pirates are engaged with the tax collectors the better off the general public will be.
 

OutHouse

Lifer
Jun 5, 2000
36,413
616
126
umm wow not allowing their attorney to speak with them or be arrested for doing so?
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
But, but, but, this is just a rare incidence and most cops are good!

Riiiiiight...

Cops are overwhelmingly scumbags with bad childhoods, small dicks, or both.
 

surfsatwerk

Lifer
Mar 6, 2008
10,110
5
81
Hard to pick a side in this case.

On one hand obvious abuse of power by the police, and on the other... tow truck drivers.
 

mrjminer

Platinum Member
Dec 2, 2005
2,739
16
76
Cops can be pretty big jerks, but I don't blame them. If I had to see how the other half lived 8 hours a day for years, I'd probably be even more of a jerk than I am now. They probably have a hard time transitioning from dealing with complete scumbags, where they have to be completely forceful, to regular people in society

The cops look like they are definitely in the wrong here, though, unless there is a law that backs them being able to take the vehicles without proper identification. Even if not, this one might be able to argued by the police department's lawyer, though, through some other loosely connected law about seizures, eminent domain, or something else equally ridiculous -- and they could win.

I think the real issue won't be that they arrested the two guys; I think their real issue might be how they handled the lawyer showing up. Screwing around a lawyer and toeing around Miranda is probably not going to be looked upon favorably by the courts. For this reason, my prediction is settlement.
 

waggy

No Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
68,145
10
81
I think that PD is going to find out that keeping on these types of police officers is about to become extremely expensive.

the PD don't give a shit. they aren't the ones paying it.

They also seem to go out of the way to hire these types and do nothing to combat it once they find out how they are.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,854
17,365
136
the PD don't give a shit. they aren't the ones paying it.

They also seem to go out of the way to hire these types and do nothing to combat it once they find out how they are.

yeah but the mayors and shit WILL have to deal with it. They cant afford to have a police force full assholes getting the city sued for millions of dollars. Either the mayor will deal with it, or find himself replaced quickly.

People will tolerate a lot of bullshit but not their taxes being raised or services being slashed.