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Golden v. Moutray

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

April 13, 2018

ROBERT GOLDEN, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLES MOUTRAY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          DAVID D. NOCE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This action is before the Court on the motion of defendant City of Pevely, Missouri, to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) certain claims in the complaint of Robert Golden, Jr.: (1) the official capacity claims against defendants Charles Moutray, Kyle Weiss, and Brian Benjamin; and (2) Count IV in its entirety. (Doc. 51). The parties have consented to the exercise of plenary authority by the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

         After hearing oral arguments from the parties on April 3, 2018, the Court grants defendant's motion in part and otherwise denies it.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Robert Golden, Jr., alleges the following facts in his amended complaint. On November 12, 2016, he was driving with three passengers in Pevely, Missouri, when defendants Moutray, Weiss, and Benjamin in a black Dodge Intrepid followed his vehicle. (Doc. 43, ¶¶ 13-14). Plaintiff saw that a single red light became illuminated on the front dash of the Intrepid vehicle behind him. In response to this light, plaintiff promptly pulled over to the side of the road. (Id. at ¶¶ 17-18). Wearing plain, non-police uniform clothing, Moutray, Weiss, and Benjamin exited the unmarked Intrepid with guns drawn and pointed at plaintiff. (Id. at ¶¶ 19-20). Fearing for his safety, plaintiff pulled away and instructed his passengers to get down on the floor of the vehicle, in case the three individuals started shooting. (Id. at ¶¶ 20-21). Plaintiff then saw a marked City of Herculaneum police vehicle with lights and siren on, and he pulled over. (Id. at ¶ 22). The Herculaneum officer exited his vehicle and issued orders to plaintiff, who attempted to comply. (Id. at ¶ 23). The Intrepid then pulled in behind plaintiff, the three individual defendants exited. Two of the defendants forcibly pulled plaintiff out of his car, threw him to the ground, and handcuffed him. (Id. at ¶¶ 25-26).

         During and after being handcuffed, plaintiff was struck in the legs, body, and head. (Id. at ¶ 26). Defendant Benjamin placed a gun to plaintiff's head and defendant Moutray instructed the Herculaneum officer to turn off his camera. (Id. at ¶¶ 27-28). Defendant Moutray and one or more defendants kicked plaintiff, stomped on his head, and repeatedly slammed him, and dragged him across the asphalt after he was handcuffed. (Id. at ¶¶ 29-30). Plaintiff was forced to say self-demeaning vulgarities. (Id. at ¶ 32). At least one defendant bragged that he got plaintiff to say this in front of a female passenger he believed to be plaintiff's girlfriend. (Id. at ¶ 32). Another bragged that the beating “brings back good times when we used to go do this.” (Id. at ¶ 33). Plaintiff was taken to the Pevely Police Department and placed in a holding cell. (Id. at ¶ 36). Defendant Weiss wrote plaintiff two tickets to justify the traffic stop. (Id. at ¶ 37).

         On January 25, 2017, plaintiff filed his original complaint in this Court against the City of Pevely, Missouri, and the three individuals in the Intrepid, patrol officers Charles Anthony Moutray, Kyle Weiss, and Brian Benjamin. (Doc. 1). He alleged two counts in the original complaint:

(1) Violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendant Moutray in his individual and official capacities and against defendants Weiss and Benjamin in their individual capacities, and
(2) Assault and battery against the City of Pevely; defendant Moutray in his individual and official capacities; and Weiss and Benjamin in their individual capacities.

(Doc. 1).

         On January 31, 2018, plaintiff filed an amended that alleges the following pending claims:

(1) Unconstitutional arrest under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants Moutray, Weiss, and Benjamin in their individual and official capacities,
(2) Excessive force under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants Moutray, Weiss, and Benjamin in their individual and official capacities,
(3) Failure to intervene under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 against defendants Moutray, Weiss, and Benjamin in their individual ...

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