Motions to be heard in battery suit against Madison police officers

Amelia Flood Jul. 9, 2009, 6:00am


The alleged police beating of a trucker at a Madison truck stop in 2006 -- which resulted in a malicious prosecution suit trial in May -- is again at the center of a Madison County Circuit Court case.

This one was filed by the trucker who claims to have been kicked in the head and tased by two Madison police officers.

Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, who oversaw the May trial, is presiding over St. Louis trucker Adulis Kidane's suit against the city of Madison and officers J.D. Harris and Michael Renth.

Crowder is scheduled to hear motions in the battery and false imprisonment case on Friday.

Kidane is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 per each of the multiple counts and costs.

He filed a motion to amend his original complaint to include punitive damages against both officers but not the city.

According to his complaint, Kidane was pulled from his semi-tractor at the Pilot Truck Stop in Madison by the officers around 2:15 a.m. May 25, 2006. The officers then allegedly kicked him in the head and tased him while he was handcuffed on the ground. Kidane was then arrested by Harris and Renth, taken to the city jail and held there until bond was posted. Kidane was charged with two counts of misdemeanor resisting arrest and a count of criminal trespass to property.

In his complaint, Kidane claims he was not made aware he was trespassing nor was he given warning of the arrest. He claims he did not resist the officers or provoke their actions.

In his motion for punitive damages, Kidane cites testimony from a security guard at the truck stop, Steven Rose.

Rose, of St. Charles County, Mo., was arrested by Madison police officers about a month after the May incident for several weapons charges and impersonating a police officer. Rose claimed that the arrest was in retaliation for witnessing Kidane's beating and sued Madison Police Sgt. Neal Mize, officer Curtis Bradley and the city of Madison after the charges against him were dropped.

The case was tried in May and the jury found for Rose in the amount of $119,450.

In their answer, the city and officers denied Kidane's allegations.

Kidane is represented by Brian Polinske of Polinske and Associates P.C. of Edwardsville. The city and its officers are represented by James Craney of Brown and James P.C. of St. Louis. Polinske represented Rose in his action against Madison, Mize and Bradley. Craney represented the defendants in the Rose suit.

The case is scheduled for trial on Sept. 14.

The case is Madison case number 07-L-438.

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