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Sheriff's department, deputies sued

May 13, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Ranson, W.Va., man filed suit against the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department Thursday, alleging his civil rights were violated by three deputies during a May 14, 1997, traffic stop.

Winstead L. Viands, who is seeking $225,000, alleges in the suit filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court that one of the deputies kicked him in the back after the traffic stop.

Following a car chase, Viands stopped his car and got out without being asked, the suit says.

Viands alleges in the suit that he was handcuffed and sprayed with pepper spray.

Deputy Mark Roby forced Viands onto a gravel surface and stepped on his face, and Deputy William Parker kicked Viands in the back, according to allegations contained in the suit.

Deputy Bobby Shirley witnessed the incident but did not intervene, according to the suit filed by Martinsburg attorney Keith L. Wheaton.

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Sheriff William Senseney declined to comment on the case.

"I can't say much because it's going to end up in court," said Senseney.

But Senseney said deputies were in pursuit of Viands.

Viands, 22, who last gave an address of 408 E. 11th Ave., eventually pleaded guilty to obstructing and driving suspended, according to Jefferson County Magistrate Court records.

He was sentenced to 60 days in jail with credit for time served and was ordered to pay $1,850 in restitution, court records said.

The incident started when Ranson Police officer Brian Mason attempted to stop Viands on George Street, according to court records. The car did not stop and began eluding Mason, court records said.

The car traveled down several streets in the downtown area, then fled west toward Summit Point.

The chase continued on Earl Road, Summit Point Road and Hardesty Road and reached speeds of 90 mph, court records said.

The car went through several fields and a fence before coming out at a baseball field in Summit Point.

Viands tried to flee after his car was stopped and he resisted arrest, according to a criminal complaint filed by Roby. Police used pepper spray to subdue him, Roby said.

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