US Marijuana Party

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wrong-house bust brings suit

By Tom Finnegan
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, HI

OMAO, Kauai ยป Two Kauai police officers were sued in federal court yesterday for allegedly slamming two grandparents to the ground and putting guns to their head after wrongly suspecting they were marijuana dealers.

Officers Scott Kaui and Damien M. Mendiola, as well as Kauai County, are named as defendants in the suit brought by Sharon and William McCulley of Omao alleging violations of their constitutional rights, assault and infliction of emotional distress among others.

The police officers were tracking a box allegedly containing marijuana mailed from the mainland, and broke into the McCulleys' house March 15 because they thought the couple, who were at home watching their grandchildren, had the box, according to the suit.

The box was picked up at a Kauai post office by a man in a Toyota truck. Police followed a truck to a private road used as a driveway by seven houses, the suit says.

Police entered the McCulley residence, thinking the McCulleys were holding the box.

According to the lawsuit, Mendiola grabbed Sharon McCulley and threw her to the ground, handcuffed her and pressed his gun into her head, leaving a mark, while her grandchild was forced to lie near her.

William McCulley, meanwhile, was thrown to the floor by Kaui, the suit alleges. McCulley, who suffers a nerve disorder and has an implanted electronic "shocking device" to his spine to alleviate pain, started flopping on the floor due to the shocks created by being thrown to the floor. He walks with the aid of a walker.


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