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Lawsuit alleges Boone County Deputies falsely arrested husband, wife


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A husband and wife have filed a federal lawsuit against three Boone County sheriff’s deputies, alleging they were falsely arrested after the deputies came to their home to arrest their son for unpaid court fees.

 

The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. It centers on a Feb. 26, 2016 incident at Donald and Melissa Covington’s home that began around 11 p.m.

 

Among the allegations is that the deputies told the Covingtons they had a warrant to arrest the Covingtons’ 24-year-old son “for assault and fleeing,” according to the lawsuit. Melissa Covington told the deputies that there must be a misunderstanding because those charges had already been resolved.

 

The deputies, the lawsuit says, hid the fact that the warrant was for not paying court costs.

 

According to the lawsuit, when Melissa Covington asked to see the warrant and then offered to bring her son to court in the morning, Deputy Tyler Brockman said they did not have to show her the warrant.

 

With the door closed and locked, the lawsuit says Brockman began shining his flashlight into the home and banging on a window. Covington woke up her son, and he got dressed, went outside and was arrested.

 

Covington returned to the door, saw her son was handcuffed and “continued questioning the deputies about the arrest warrant for her son,” the lawsuit says.

 

Without warning, the lawsuit says, Deputy Wesley Mackey “grabbed Melissa’s wrist, twisted it behind her back and pushed it upwards.” The lawsuit says that was excessive force.

 

Eventually Donald Covington came to the door, told Mackey to let go of his wife and called for his neighbor across the street to begin video-recording. Mackey then handcuffed Melissa without telling her why she was being arrested.

 

The lawsuit says Brockman “instructed” Mackey to arrest Donald Covington. He was still standing inside his home, the lawsuit says, when Mackey reached through the doorway, grabbed his arm and “yanked him out of his house.”

 

He was taken to the county jail barefoot and wearing only a T-shirt and boxer briefs.

 

Brockman is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the family of Samantha Ramsey whom Brockman shot and killed in 2014 after he said she struck him with a car and tried to drive off as he was on the hood.

 

The lawsuit says the Covingtons did not resist arrest, engage in violent or threatening behavior, and didn’t make “unreasonable noise.”

 

Officials with the sheriff’s office could not be reached for comment.

 

The couple was jailed until the next day and charged with disorderly conduct. They were offered a deal that if they entered a diversion program, prosecutors would recommend their son not be jailed. They completed the program, which included 20 hours of community service, paid court costs and were not convicted of any crime.

 

"Any time a citizen is accused of disorderly conduct and arrested in their own home where they haven't bothered anybody – that’s a serious allegation," said attorney Al Gerhardstein, who is representing the Covingtons. He added that the incident was "precipitous, unnecessary, and with a little bit of talking could have been totally avoided."

 

The lawsuit also names Deputy Jonathan Ball and Boone County Sheriff Michael Helmig as defendants.

 

Lawsuit: Deputies falsely arrested husband, wife

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Based on the information you posted, it doesn't sound like they did anything to warrant arrest.

 

Also, aren't they required to show the warrant if asked?

 

Which is why I believe there has to be more to the story.

 

And the warrant was for a 24 year old man, the Deputies do not need to show anyone else anything.

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Which is why I believe there has to be more to the story.

 

And the warrant was for a 24 year old man, the Deputies do not need to show anyone else anything.

 

Wouldn't they have had to show the warrant to the homeowners in order to enter the home and arrest their son?

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Wouldn't they have had to show the warrant to the homeowners in order to enter the home and arrest their son?

 

No because the warrant for arrest would not give the Deputies the power to enter the home. With that said, I once saw a statue that was specific to Deputies that didn't include other Police Officers that may give them additional powers to enter a home. However, to my knowledge and the way it worked for our Police Department we would have needed a separate search warrant to enter a residence in addition to the warrant for arrest.

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Wouldn't they have had to show the warrant to the homeowners in order to enter the home and arrest their son?

They didn't enter the home, he got dressed and went outside and was arrested. The "Mom" while upset had no business interfering at that point, if she felt it was wrong she could have called her son's attorney, the Sheriff's Dept Supervisor or the Sheriff. Interfering anytime anyone is being arrested, usually doesn't go well for those interfering.

 

I'm sure she wasn't casually questioning them about her son's arrest either...just a hunch but she was probably being a bit more aggressive than that.

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They didn't enter the home, he got dressed and went outside and was arrested. The "Mom" while upset had no business interfering at that point, if she felt it was wrong she could have called her son's attorney, the Sheriff's Dept Supervisor or the Sheriff. Interfering anytime anyone is being arrested, usually doesn't go well for those interfering.

 

Is asking to see the warrant really interfering??

 

Also, if the Dad didn't exit the home, there's gotta be an issue with them entering the home and arresting him, right?

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That's alleged. I'd bet there is more than the one side of the suit claims.

 

Clearly. What's the point of these threads if we can't comment based on what's posted though? If we had to wait for both sides of every issue to come out, this site would serve zero purpose. What's the point of a discussion board that doesn't want discussion?

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Clearly. What's the point of these threads if we can't comment based on what's posted though? If we had to wait for both sides of every issue to come out, this site would serve zero purpose. What's the point of a discussion board that doesn't want discussion?

Look, you can comment all you like, my point is that we like to castrate the officers on a message board before their side is heard. All I'm saying. So, feel free to castrate away.

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Look, you can comment all you like, my point is that we like to castrate the officers on a message board before their side is heard. All I'm saying. So, feel free to castrate away.

 

I'm simply asking questions to determine what issues the officers could be facing IF the events happened as described in post #1.

 

Are officers allowed to lie about why they're arresting someone?

 

Is asking to see a warrant really considered interfering with an arrest?

 

Are officers allowed to enter a home and arrest the person who lives there if they don't have a warrant for that person's arrest?

 

Those are legit questions that I was hoping to get the answers to. Silly me.

 

I thought it went without saying that this is one side of the story being provided.

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