Man claims false arrest in lawsuit against Sulphur SpringsBy Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau
Southeast Texas Record
Jun. 23, 2010
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TEXARKANA-A Hopkins County resident has filed a lawsuit arguing that he was falsely arrested and incarcerated after a confidential informant lied to police.
Donald Ballowe filed suit against the city of Sulphur Springs, Police Chief Jim Bayuk, police officers Ron Plaxco and Harold McClure, Hopkins County, Sheriff Butch Adams, Deputy Tony Crouse and paid informant Leigh Smith.
The lawsuit was filed June 10 in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division.
According to court records, Ballowe claims he was falsely accused of participating in an illegal drug transaction on Oct. 8, 2009. The alleged transaction was captured on video and audio tape.
Ballowe states that he was in Vancouver, Wash., at the time of the incident and that police officers would have known he was not on the tape if they had looked at it.
He claims that the paid confidential informant routinely lied to police, and was lying when she told police Ballowe sold her drugs.
Ballowe turned himself in as soon as he learned of the indictment. He was released on bail and the charges were dismissed on April 22.
The plaintiff states that no action was taken against the individual officers or the informant and by the lack of action their misconduct was acquiesced in and ratified.
The plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages for mental pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of liberty, damage to reputation and punitive damages, plus interest, attorney fees and court costs.
Ballowe is represented by Nacogdoches attorney Curtis B. Stuckey of Stuckey, Garrigan & Castetter Law Offices. Jury trial requested.
U.S. District Judge David Folsom is assigned to the case.
Case No. 5:10cv00104