KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — A Pierceton man has filed a complaint for damages against the North Webster Police Department, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Wawasee Community School Corporation, North Webster Elementary School, and specified individuals with the police departments and school.
The complaint was filed Tuesday, Sept. 12, in Kosciusko Superior Court.
Clifford Clevenger, Pierceton, is seeking compensatory damages for being deprived of his right to be free from assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest and negligent/intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court is being asked to set the damage amount.
Court documents state “this is an action to redress violation of plaintiff’s rights under the state tort laws.”
Clevenger alleges Nov. 14, 2013, at North Webster Elementary School, he was arrested for invasion of privacy after arriving at the school to have lunch with his son. Documents state Clevenger was told by Christine Holst, a school official, there was a protective order prohibiting him to be on school property, inside the building and near his son.
Documents state Clevenger produced documentation to Holst, North Webster Police Chief Greg Church and Kosciusko County Deputy Floyd Knafel the protective order was no longer valid. He also states his former wife also told officials the order was no longer valid. However, he was arrested for invasion of privacy.
Clevenger additionally notes in the claim Holst told him she could deny him access to his son regardless of a court document and Knafel “in a rude and angry manner,” hit his cellphone out of his hand, placing him in fear. Additionally he alleges he tried to tell Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Shepherd of the invalid protective order, but nothing was done.
Clevenger claims all three officers could have looked at the plaintiff’s “pink paperwork” and contacted the court but did not do so, lacking probable cause to arrest him. He also states he was not advised of his Miranda rights.
The claim states after being held in custody, it was determined Clevenger had been telling the truth and the prosecutor’s office had him immediately released and did not pursue any criminal charge.
The claim also states Clevenger was terminated from his employment where he had worked for seven years, was falsely imprisoned, assaulted, battered and subjected to “intentional and/or negligent infliction of emotional distress.” It also notes Clevenger was caused “pain for the assault and battery and false imprisonment, as well as, great embarrassment, stress, humiliation, mental anguish, loss of job and job related benefits, financial hardships and damages yet to be determined.”
It also caused him to suffer a “deprivation of his liberty, fright, shock, false arrest, negligent/intentional infliction of emotional distress.”