A man claiming he was injured when a criminal suspect stole an East St. Louis police car and caused several accidents is opposing the defendants’ motion to dismiss.
According to the complaint filed June 19, Johnnie L. Bosely Jr. claims he suffered a collapsed lung, multiple rib fractures, a lacerated spleen and a lacerated left ear after Rickey Raper stole East St. Louis police officer Rodell Andrews’ squad car and violently collided with Bosley’s vehicle.
The suit claims that around 8:30 a.m., Andrews arrived at the scene and parked his police car immediately behind a metro bus, where inside Raper was refusing to pay the proper fare. Andrews allegedly left the car running and the doors unlocked when he boarded the bus and approached Raper, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the suit states.
Raper began walking away from the bus after Andrews made him leave, but he then “approached and entered the unlocked and/or unsecured squad [car],” the suit states. Raper then allegedly put the squad car into drive and “violently collided into the vehicle being driven by plaintiff.”
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss arguing that they were immune under the Tort Immunity Act specifically from injuries caused by an escaped prisoner.
Bosley responded in opposition to the defendants’ motion to dismiss on Nov. 6 arguing that the defendants are not immune under any provision of the Illinois Tort Immunity Act for the circumstances in the lawsuit.
Bosely claims they are not immune because Andrews was allegedly not engaged in enforcing the law at the time of the incident.
“It is anticipated that the evidence in this case will show that Officer Andrews never attempted to arrest or took (sic) him into custody, and that Raper was permitted or ordered to leave the scene on his own accord,” the opposition states.
Bosely also cites the Domestic Violence Act as reason to place blame on the defendants, arguing that the act “permits a finding of liability for willful and wanton conduct caused by officers while enforcing the Act.”
He further claims that officers have a duty of care with respect to their conduct, arguing that Andrews breached his duty of care when Raper gained access to the police cruiser.
Bosely seeks a judgment of more than $250,000.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien scheduled a hearing for Feb. 11, 2014, at 10 a.m.
The defendants moved for a substitution of judge on Nov. 13.
Michael J. Garavalia of Flynn Guymon & Garavalia in Belleville represents Bosely.
Michael L. Wagner of Clayborne, Sabo & Wagner in Belleville represent the defendants.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 13-L-302