Couple Files Suit Against Police


Saturday, April 7th 2007, 2:41 pm
By: News On 6


TONKAWA, Okla. (AP) A Tonkawa couple who claim police conducted an illegal search of their home have filed a federal lawsuit against the police department, the third lawsuit filed against the department in less than a year.

In a complaint filed last month in federal court in Oklahoma City, Tonkawa residents Donald and Jeanine Cales also claim police beat Donald Cales badly enough to send him to an emergency room.

Two other lawsuits were filed against the police department in June and July involving several of the same officers involved in the most recent case. The two earlier cases are preparing to go to trial.

According to Cales' complaint, several Tonkawa officers followed him to his home, broke out a window in his front door and pointed a gun at his wife. They entered the home without a warrant, beat Cales and arrested him without informing him of any charges against him, according to the complaint.

Cales said he incurred $90,000 in medical expenses as a result of his injuries. He is seeking damages in excess of $1 million and punitive damages in excess of $500,000. His wife is also seeking the same amount.

The suit claims the officers used malicious and unreasonable force and violated his constitutional protection against unlawful searches, the right to know the charges against him and depriving him of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Philip Anderson, an Oklahoma City attorney representing Tonkawa in the lawsuits, said he couldn't comment on pending litigation.

In June, Gene "Brad" Smith filed a lawsuit against police claiming they used excessive force and assaulted his wife and her children during an unannounced nighttime search of their home.

Smith also claimed police retaliated against him by arresting the couple without any charges during a traffic stop after he made the officers' conduct public.

In another lawsuit filed the next month, Toribia Espinoza claims former Assistant Police Chief Nick Alexy unlawfully arrested her and assaulted her in a drunken rage while off duty.

Located in Kay County in northern Oklahoma, Tonkawa has a population of about 3,200 residents.