Fairview Heights sued by man allegedly beaten during traffic arrest

By Kelly Holleran | Feb 22, 2010

A man has filed suit against the city of Fairview Heights and two of its police officers, saying he was wrongly arrested and beaten during a traffic stop.

Mark R. McCoy claims he was driving a 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck north on Illinois Highway 159 in Fairview Heights on Feb. 17, 2009, at about 2:11 a.m. when he noticed lights flashing behind him.

"That the Plaintiff, upon observing the emergency lights, was unable to observe any markings on the vehicle which would signify it as a police cruiser, or identify the driver as a patrolman," the suit filed Feb. 17 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states. "That the Plaintiff did thereupon exercise discretion, care and caution by maneuvering his vehicle towards the shoulder of the roadway in a safe and lawful manner in effort to make way for what he perceived to be an emergency vehicle seeking right-of-way."

However, defendant Fairview Heights patrolman Joshua Alemond did not pass McCoy and continued to follow him with his lights flashing, according to the complaint. Concerned for his safety and finding no reason that he should be pulled over, McCoy continued to travel down the unlit highway and decided to stop at Donald Bailey Drive, a private drive with lights, the complaint says.

When he reached Donald Bailey Drive, McCoy claims he stopped his vehicle under a street light and noticed Alemond stopping behind him. Wondering what he had done, McCoy rolled down his window in hopes of confronting Alemond to discover the reason for his detainment, according to the complaint.

However, Alemond remained in his cruiser with his department-issued pistol trained on McCoy, the suit states.

"That the Plaintiff did peaceably attempt to discern the cause for the detainment by asking the Defendant, Joshua Alemond, if he was under arrest by speaking clearly and loudly from his vehicle," the complaint says. "That the defendant Joshua Alemond, failed to apprise the Plaintiff of any cause for his detainment but instead ordered him to exit the safety and protection of his vehicle at gunpoint and threat of death."

Out of fear for his life, McCoy claims he climbed from his vehicle with his hands raised. Next, he heard Alemond ordering him to step away from his vehicle and walk backwards toward the police cruiser, then to assume a kneeling position with his hands atop his head, according to the complaint.

McCoy continued to follow Alemond's orders when Alemond executed a warrantless arrest, the suit states. Meanwhile, co-defendant Fairview Heights police officer Aaron Nyman arrived at the scene and also had his weapon trained on McCoy, the complaint says.

McCoy claims that while he remained in a kneeling position, Alemond beat McCoy's head, face and back and gave him an electric shock to the head. After the beating, Alemond and Nyman ordered McCoy to place his hands behind his back, but McCoy couldn't comply with their order because of the beating, according to the complaint.

As a result, Alemond and Nyman charged McCoy with knowingly resisting an officer, even though compliance would have been impossible, the suit states.

At some point during the arrest and after the beating, Nyman informed McCoy he had been pulled over because of an outstanding warrant for his arrest, the complaint says.

Still, McCoy claims the officers were wrong for arresting him. In addition, the officers forced McCoy's truck to be towed, and he had to pay to get it back, according to the complaint.

"That as a direct and proximate result of one or more of the foregoing acts and/or omissions of willful and wanton conduct by the Defendant(s), the Plaintiff suffered cuts, contusions, bleeding, electric shock, convulsions, loss of consciousness, confusion, damaged teeth, and anxiety, as well as broken eyeglasses, broken cellular telephone, and broken Bluetooth headset, as well as deprivation of his private property for which he was forced to pay to have returned," the suit states.

In his complaint, McCoy seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

He will be representing himself.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-75.

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