Woman sues Shepherdstown policeman, claiming he slammed her down on walk

May 28, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - A second lawsuit has been filed against Shepherdstown Police Department Officer Chris Roper, this time over a woman's 2004 arrest.

According to the suit, Roper and another officer lunged at Molly Humphreys Aguilar, causing her to hit her head on a car.

The suit, filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court, claims she was slammed facedown on a sidewalk and was taken from the scene in an ambulance for treatment of her injuries.

Besides Roper, the suit also names Scott Patrick Reagan, who was working at the time for the police department, former Shepherdstown Police Chief Charles C. Cole Sr. and the police department as defendants.


A lawsuit against Roper in U.S. District Court still is pending, said attorney Christopher Stroech of Arnold, Cesare & Bailey, the law firm handling both suits.

That suit alleges Roper threw a Shepherdstown man into an alley one evening in 2003, kicked him several times and slammed his head into a wall, among other allegations.

The federal suit claims Justin Pistore of Shepherdstown was taken to a hospital after the incident.

The federal suit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, although a specific amount is not being requested.

The latest suit states that Aguilar and two friends were going to Aguilar's home on Sept. 25, 2004, and the women saw Roper and Reagan when the women were on Princess Street.

Roper was speaking to an unidentified woman on the street and questioning the woman about an alleged traffic offense, the suit states.

As Aguilar and her two friends went down Princess Street, one of Aguilar's friends told Aguilar that the unidentified woman did not have to take a sobriety test, the suit states.

Roper apparently heard the comment and became agitated, according to the suit.

Roper and Reagan "suddenly and without warning" lunged at Aguilar, the suit states.

After Aguilar's head hit a car and she was slammed to the ground, Roper "screamed" at one of Aguilar's friends and told her "she had two seconds to leave the sidewalk or that she would get the same thing her friends got," according to the suit.

Roper then slammed Aguilar's friend to the ground and handcuffed her, according to the suit.

After treatment for her injuries, Aguilar was taken to Eastern Regional Jail and held overnight although she did not commit a crime, the suit claims.

The suit claims the arrest of Aguilar violated her rights under the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, including the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The suit claims Roper and Reagan used excessive force and asks for compensatory, actual and punitive damages, although a specific amount is not requested.

Roper, Reagan and Cole could not be reached for comment Thursday. Mayor Peter Wilson and current Shepherdstown Police Chief Curtis Keller also could not be reached for comment.

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