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A Louisville man who is facing assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges in Marion District Court has filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Lebanon, the Lebanon Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and several individual officers.
James G. Walker Jr., 47, of 7500 Farm House Lane in Louisville was arrested at 12:11 a.m. Dec. 24, 2011 at McB’s.
According to the arrest report, Detective Tim Abell of the Lebanon Police responded to a report of a subject with a gun on Dec. 23, 2011, at McB’s. When he arrived at the door, a woman told Abell that a man in a red shirt threatened her with a gun.
Abell and Officer Quentin Cardwell approached Walker, who was on stage, and asked about the gun. According to the arrest report, Walker told the officers to mind their own business and turned away from them.
At that point, the officers grabbed Walker, and he turned and came at the officers, according to the arrest report. The report reads that Walker, who was listed as 6’4” and 360 pounds, shoved the officers and pinned Cardwell against a wall.
The arrest report reads that both officers and Walker then fell to the ground, at which time Walker struck the officers. Walker was grabbing at Abell’s gun, and a Taser was used to stop Walker, according to the arrest report.
Walker was originally charged with two counts of third-degree assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. The assault charges have been amended to fourth-degree assault.
A pretrial conference for Walker is scheduled for May 1 in Marion District Court, and his trial is scheduled for Friday, May 3.
Walker filed a civil lawsuit Dec. 23, 2012, in U.S. District Court in Louisville. He filed his complaint against the City of Lebanon Police Department, Abell, Cardwell, Lebanon Police Chief Wally Brady, other unknown officers of the Lebanon Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Courtney Deering, Sheriff Jimmy Clements and other unknown officers in the sheriff’s office.
According to the complaint, Walker was working as a karaoke host at McB’s on the night of his arrest. The complaint notes that law enforcement officers responded to a complaint that someone had brandished a handgun in a threatening manner in the establishment. Walker argues in his complaint that the officers did not have a warrant to arrest or search the plaintiff.
According to the complaint, Walker told the officers he did not have a gun. The complaint continues to read that he agreed to let the officers search him, but he needed to attend to a work duty since a song had just ended. Walker stepped onto the stage to start the next song when officers grabbed him. The complaint reads that, because of his size, this caused him to fall backwards against a wall. Walker accused the officers of taking him to the floor and striking him. Shortly thereafter, Abell used a Taser against Walker, the complaint reads.
The complaint continues to read that Deering joined Abell and Cardwell at this point, and they flipped Walker over so he was face down, handcuffed him and searched him, but did not find a handgun.
Walker’s complaint reads that he was not drunk, was not causing a disturbance and was not engaged in illegal activity when he was assaulted.
Answers to Walker’s federal lawsuit were filed March 27 (on behalf of the City of Lebanon, the Lebanon Police, Abell, Cardwell and other unknown Lebanon police and Marion County sheriff’s officers) and April 8 (on behalf of the sheriff’s office, Clements, Deering and other unknown officers of the sheriff’s office).
In their answers, the defendants deny that any governmental policy was implicated in Walker’s allegations, and thus there can be no official liability. The defendants also deny the allegations as they were described in Walker’s complaint.
Walker has accused the defendants of violating his civil rights through his arrest, detention and the failure to prevent harm, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, false arrest and imprisonment, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and gross negligence.
Walker is seeking compensation for injuries and damages, punitive damages, attorney fees, and a trial by jury.
The defendants are seeking to have the case dismissed, reimbursement for costs, and a trial by jury.
The parties in the federal lawsuit have until May 28 to complete a litigation plan and discovery schedule.