Collinsville couple claims rights violated; cops destroyed their alcohol

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 28, 2008, 6:20am

A Collinsville couple filed a nine-count civil complaint against the City of Collinsville and three police officers in Madison County Circuit Court April 18, alleging the officers violated their constitutional rights.

Mark Wooley and Leticia Gamez-Wooley allege that on April 27, 2007 they were peacefully at home abiding all laws when, without probable cause, the Collinsville Police forced their way into their home.

They claim that police wrongfully searched their home, wrongfully interrogated them, refused to leave when asked and ordered to and wrongfully arrested them without any cause.

The Wooleys claim that without their consent the police inappropriately touched and caused bodily injury without any legal cause to do so and also used excessive force when placing them into custody.

"During these events, the defendants threatened the plaintiffs and humiliated the plaintiffs in front of numerous witnesses," the complaint states.

They claim they were wrongfully arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, handcuffed and taken to jail.

According to the complaint, the prosecutor has dismissed all of the charges.

The Wooleys claim their rights were violated, that the defendants committed common law battery, trespass, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

They also allege that the police officers destroyed their personal property when the police destroyed their alcohol.

Represented by Thomas Falb of Alton, the Wooleys are seeking compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $650,000, plus costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

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