Testimony continues in Madison malicious prosecution trial

By Amelia Flood | May 5, 2009


Testimony resumed today in a malicious prosecution trial against the city of Madison and one of its police officers stemming from a 2006 incident involving the arrest of a prostitute.

The day ended with the cross examination of the plaintiff.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder is presiding. Testimony will
resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Plaintiff Stephen M. Rose of St. Charles County, Mo., alleges that while acting as a security guard at the Pilot Truck Stop in Madison, he suffered pain, mental anguish, and loss of reputation when he was arrested on several felony weapons charges and for impersonating a police officer.

The St. Clair County State's Attorney later dropped most of the
charges and declined to charge Rose for impersonating a police officer.

Rose is suing the city of Madison and police Sgt. Neal Mize counts of malicious prosecution and defamation for at least $50,000 and other relief.

Attorney James Craney, acting for the defense, hammered at Rose for what he contended were violations of the policies of Rose's then-employer the Bridgeton-based Wackenhut Corporation.

Rose countered that he was unaware of Wackenhut policies forbidding its security guards from carrying their own weapons, mandating Wackenhut uniforms, among other rules. Rose went on to say that the rules varied by location and that he had multiple handbooks while employed by the company. He also claimed to have been unaware of some of the rules Craney cited.

Craney also pounced on Rose's statement that he wasn't afraid of police. Rose had testified earlier that he feared reprisals from the Madison police for witnessing an alleged police beating in May 2006.

Rose did not mention this fear in his written statement at the time of the arrest, citing the Madison Police for their help in the past. The plaintiff said he thought the arrest would be worked out with a call to his manager and that he did not want to bring about any retaliation by citing it.

Craney tried to cast doubt on the alleged May 2006 beating, stating that while he had received a copy of Rose's report to Wackenhut about it, he has yet to see the original.

Crowder intervened, saying that was a matter to be taken up at another time.

Mize, testifying Monday, said that Rose "would have had something on him that said 'Security.'" Instead, he said, Rose was dressed in a park ranger uniform from his past employment with the City of St. Louis.

Rose also had three handguns, a switchblade and several police hats along with a flashing red light, Mize said. Mize testified that he believed Rose was dangerous and had arrested him based on what he believed to be probable cause.

Rose is represented by Brian Polinske of Edwardsville.

The case is Madison case number 06-L-733.

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