Lebanon man sues for wrongful arrest and prosecution

Ann Knef Jan. 24, 2006, 1:19am

Lebanon City Hall

Lebanon barber Charles R. Luster, who claims he was wrongfully arrested and prosecuted for resisting arrest in August 2003, is suing those who had a hand in his scrape with the law.

Luster claims it only took a St. Clair County jury 12 minutes to decide he was not guilty for resisting police officer Michael Chavez's arrest on Aug. 26, 2003.

According to the eight-count suit filed Jan. 17 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Luster was walking from the Post Office to his barbershop New Beginnings on St. Louis Street when Chavez confronted him. Luster said he was questioned about his whereabouts the previous night and fully complied with Chavez's requests.

"At said time and place plaintiff Charles R. Luster was taken into custody, and charged with resisting a peace officer," the complaint states.

Luster is represented by Patricia L. Dennis and Amanda Bradley Verett oc Edwardsville.

In his suit against Lebanon police officers Michael Chavez, Thomas Peters, Police Chief Douglas Lebert, the city, the police department, assistant state's attorneys Brian Kreisler, Michael Hickey and Van-Lear Eckert, Luster claims his reputation and business have suffered.

"Plaintiff Charles R. Luster was caused to suffer severe and ongoing mental pain and anguish, emotional stress, strain, humiliation and embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life, anxiety, depression, and has required medical and psychological care," the complaint states.

In each count of the suit, Luster is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $50,000, attorney's fees, costs incurred by his criminal defense and civil suit, as well as other relief deemed proper by the court.

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