MEADVILLE – A man who was arrested and allegedly injected with drugs used to treat anxiety disorders in a case of mistaken identity has launched a lawsuit.
Eugene Wright, 63, from Meadville, Pennsylvania, is suing the local council and hospital for false imprisonment amongst other claims.
A man with the same name had allegedly been making threats at a doctors’ office on the day of the incident.
Meadville city manager Andy Walker declined to comment on the case.
He told the BBC he was aware of a letter in November about a possible lawsuit but that no formal notification had yet been received.
Wright, who says he repeatedly stated that he was not the man the officers were looking for, is suing for false imprisonment, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, civil rights violation and invasion of privacy.
He says he was walking outside his house
to his vehicle after work when he was approached by two police officers and an official from a local psychiatric centre, and was arrested.
The lawsuit says Wright told the officers he was not the man they were looking for, but no-one checked his identity to make sure they had the right person in custody.
The alleged mistake was only uncovered when Wright’s daughter arrived at the hospital, stating that her father had been at work at the time of the medical centre incident.
The lawsuit says Wright received apologies from the police officers involved and from hospital staff, who presented Wright with vouchers by way of apology.
A spokeswoman for the medical centre where Wright was held told the local Meadville Tribune newspaper that it was aware of the case, but did not have any comment.
The BBC also approached the centre for comment but the spokeswoman was unavailable.