Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jan 2003
Source: Palestine Herald Press (TX)
Copyright: 2003, The Palestine Herald Press.
Author:  Paul Stone
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)


Jacksonville couple files suit over September 2000 incident

The Dogwood Trails Narcotics Task Force is among multiple defendants named
in a federal lawsuit filed by a Jacksonville couple alleging law enforcement
officials forcibly and wrongfully entered their home more than two years
ago. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District, plaintiffs
Hubert and Doris Robinson allege they were in their residence located at 500
Hillside St. in Jacksonville on or about Sept. 1, 2000 when seven officers
representing the task force "descended upon their home in a violent and
brutal manner."

The lawsuit filed Dec. 17 seeks actual and exemplary damages of unspecified
amounts, in addition to attorney's fees. Other defendants named in the
lawsuit include: the City of Palestine; the Palestine Police Department;
Anderson County; the Anderson County Sheriff's Department; the City of
Jacksonville; the Jacksonville Police Department; Cherokee County; the
Cherokee County Sheriff's Department; and task force officers Earl Garner,
Gerald Kerr, Richard Garner, Shelby Green, Brenda Gray, David Wahoviak and
Ray Sorrell.

According to the lawsuit, the seven Dogwood Trails representatives forced
their way into the Robinsons' back door with weapons drawn and began to
search for occupants.

The lawsuit further stated the "police officers were purportedly executing a
search and/or arrest warrant" that "was not justified as the warrant was
issued for another house, and was not supported by adequate probable cause."

Additionally, according to the lawsuit, "Plaintiffs, Hubert Robinson and
wife, Doris Robinson, were handled in an abrupt, assaultive manner and
feared bodily harm at the hands of the invading officers. They were
detained, handcuffed and placed on the floor of the house for an
unreasonable period of time. These Plaintiffs were made to submit themselves
to being searched and detained in their own home. They suffered great shock,
fear and anguish as a result of the Defendants' conduct." No arrests were
made in connection with the events of Sept. 1, 2000, according to the

According to a story which in the Jacksonville Daily Progress, the officers
were supposed to enter a residence across the street from the Robinsons'

The newspaper reported that Doris Robinson had a tumor removed from her arm
a week before the incident. She also was administered oxygen at the scene
after hyperventilating, according to the story.

Doris Robinson, who was 52 at the time, told the Daily Progress she was
working on a computer in a bedroom when she heard a lot of commotion. Before
she knew what had happened, she told the newspaper she was handcuffed on the
floor in the bedroom. "I told them my name is Doris Robinson, and I think
you have the wrong house," Doris Robinson told the Daily Progress. Task
force representatives served their warrant later the same day, according to
the newspaper, and arrested William and Gloria Harvest for manufacture or
delivery of a controlled substance between 4 and 200 grams.

The newspaper reported that officials say they seized 8 grams of cocaine;
less than 2 ounces of marijuana; eight firearms; and $35,385 in currency in
connection with those arrests.

Jacksonville attorney R.W. (Ricky) Richards is representing the Robinsons.
Last week, the Anderson County commissioners' court voted to appoint
Anderson County assistant district attorney Allyson Mitchell to represent
the county in mediation associated with the lawsuit.
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