State cop sues truck driver who punched him in the face

Kelly Holleran Dec. 2, 2008, 10:32am

An Illinois state police officer has filed suit against a Fayette County man and the trucking company for which he worked, alleging his jaw was broken after the man punched him in the face.

At the time he was punched, Michael D. Link was attempting to arrest Ronald M. Fraction for multiple offenses including driving under the influence and driving a CMV while disqualified, according to the complaint filed Nov. 26 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

While Link was arresting Fraction, Fraction "struck Plaintiff in the fist with his fist breaking Plaintiff's jaw in two places," the suit states.

Fraction was then arrested for DUI and aggravated battery to a police officer and was sentenced to the penitentiary, Link claims.

Link claims he came into contact with Fraction after he responded to the scene of a single tractor-trailer accident at I-55/70 southbound at milepost 1.5 in St. Clair County on Nov. 22, 2007.

Fraction was driving the vehicle for Transam Trucking and had been drinking at Club Onyx before he left, intending to finish his assignment, according to the complaint.

However, Fraction became stuck on the side of the interstate, the suit states.

Because of his fractured jaw, Link claims he missed substantial time from his usual employment, including overtime hours and suffered severe injuries to his jaw, face and head.

He also suffered great pain and mental anguish and has incurred medical expenses, according to the complaint.

TransAm Trucking was negligent because it failed to perform an adequate background check or check employment history before it hired Fraction, the suit states.

The company should have known of Fraction's violent propensities and of his particularly violent history of injuring others, his prior criminal record of attacking police officers and his history of driving while intoxicated, Link claims.

"Ronald M. Fraction's prior history clearly indicates that TransAm Trucking, Inc. should have known that Ronald M. Fraction would be poorly equipped to effectively deal with and communicate with police officers and others that he may encounter in the course of his employment," the suit states.

In the two-count suit, Link is seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000, plus costs, attorneys' fees and other relief the Court deems just.

Brian T. Kreisler of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner and Thompson in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-614.

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