published Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Couple arrested on way to hospital files $1.5 million lawsuit

A $1.5 million lawsuit has been filed against the city Chattanooga and a police officer by a couple whose husband was arrested and jailed after rushing his wife to the hospital with a suspected stroke.

Jesse and Aline Wright filed the lawsuit today in Hamilton County Chancery Court.

In the lawsuit, Jesse Wright, who was arrested on seven counts, claims that he was assaulted, falsely arrested and imprisoned and subjected to malicious prosecution and civil rights violations.

The lawsuit also accuses the arresting officer, Chattanooga police Officer James Daves, of using excessive force.

The charges against Jesse Wright were later dropped and police officials apologized to the couple.

On Wednesday, June 16, the Wrights were rushing to Erlanger hospital, worried that Aline Wright was suffering from a stroke. She is a cancer survivor who has heart problems due to chemotherapy.

Jesse Wright ran two red lights on the way to the hospital and Daves pursued the couple to the doors of the Erlanger emergency room. Daves and Jesse Wright had a confrontation and Daves accused the husband of assaulting him.

Daves was placed on leave after the arrest.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Joan Garrett McClane...

Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...

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memphisexile said...

He broke the law, Having a good excuse does not mean he didn't break the law. Having a good reason doesn't make you immune to prosecution, except apparently, in Chattanooga where making a stink in the press will absolve you of crimes.

What if he had struck and killed a pedestrian? What if he had hit another car injuring someone? Everyone looks past that because they feel sorry for this couple.

This lawsuit is BS, but the City will settle because if this goes to jury they will lose.

/sigh.

September 23, 2010 at 4:54 p.m.

Great. Perhaps this will balance the currently heavy hand of law enforcement towards the citizens of this city.

September 23, 2010 at 6:09 p.m.
whatever said...

Am I missing something? There seems to be no mention of military service in this article.

September 23, 2010 at 6:54 p.m.
wareagleash said...

wildman - I can't seem to find the military mentioned - please enlighten us.

September 23, 2010 at 7:20 p.m.
rolando said...

The officer had to slam on the brakes to avoid broadsiding Wright as he ran one red light, as I recall -- Wright was driving an unregistered car [without insurance because of that]. This is NOT an upstanding citizen trying to save his wife...

The assault? The officer placed a hand on Wright's arm -- the ONLY "excessive force" used.

Several days later, Wright was arrested for running those red lights, speeding, refusing to follow an officer's order, etc. etc. etc.

All the Wright's are doing is looking for a few [million] free bucks...that's YOUR tax money and mine those two are going after.

September 23, 2010 at 8:20 p.m.
rolando said...

The reporter is biased on a number of issues, wildman. She has a history.

September 23, 2010 at 8:22 p.m.
sigmasoror said...

I don't think common sense was used on either part. In this situation I can understand the husband's viewpoint of trying to get his wife to the hospital, but does it mitigate him running the red lights? After the officer followed them to the hospital and saw that the situation was legit, why was the husband still arrested? Why were the charges later dropped and an apology issued? So both parties did something wrong, but does it constitute a 1.5 million dollar lawsuit? I think not, and since Chattanooga has shown weakness, the couple is going for all they can. Hopefully the legal system will prevail. I hope the couple and the cop remember that the universe is circular and what ever you put out, you eventually get it back.

September 23, 2010 at 9:09 p.m.
wareagleash said...

Rolando - I'm normally a fan of most of your posts but not today. Did you happen to be doing a ride along that day? or where you at the hospital getting a checkup? If not, how can you comment like you were standing outside? 1.5m is just a number folks - as a business owner that has been sued before I can speak from experience. 1-4mil is your normal liability coverage limits and that's where a lot of lawsuits fall. Let it go to court and all the evidence come out before you spew out the "he said she said" crap.

September 25, 2010 at 9:54 a.m.
rolando said...

The Officer's testimony and excellent news reporting re: assault [which I accept over that of some guy in panic mode] is/was my basis, plus -- if memory serves -- somewhere along the line last June, the handtouch-throwoff "assault" was mentioned by both Officer Daves and Wright; the video camera of the intersection is other support for and corroboration of the Officer's testimoney.

Did you follow all the details of the original arrest, wareagleash? It is bound to be in the TFP archieves. This is all rehashed reporting. The previous news report went viral -- people from all over the US were weighing in, 90% [my SWAG] of whom didn't bother to read or understand the news. All sorts of unsubstantiated claims of what happened were made...most taken out of thin air.

The reason the city dropped the legitimate charges against Wright -- well based, BTW -- was because it was picking up steam nationwide...had nothing to do with the violations themselves -- sorta like the dropping of the Fed charges against the mad-dog New Black Panther Party's violence and threatened violence against voters last fed election. [Sure didn't mean the NBPP didn't violate any number of federal voting rights laws, the DOJ just refused to prosecute/follow-up.]

September 25, 2010 at 10:28 a.m.
rolando said...

Thanks for the support, BTW, waregleash

Interesting that Wright isn't getting the public support he thinks he deserves on this issue. Money-grubbing and insisting on one's rights are two completely different things.

Personally, I hope the lawyer has to pay his own exorbitant fees. We really need to rein those guys in...

September 25, 2010 at 10:33 a.m.
whatever said...

The legal profession has indeed gotten quite a negative reputation.

This is why I wouldn't expect public support, regardless of the actual merits of the claim. No matter what restitution you seek, no matter what injury you suffer, there's going to be somebody blaming you for going to court on it.

Sometimes you have to expect to be hated. It doesn't mean you're wrong.

September 25, 2010 at 10:50 a.m.
wareagleash said...

agreed whatever - Rolando, I'm not saying the guy is innocent, I just want to see all the evidence before I make my call. As a husband and father I'm going to have some bias towards the guy. If my wife or daughters needed critical medical attention I would do whatever was necessary to see that they got it. But at the same time as a husband/father - my family travels the roads and I don't want a moron running redlights for the wrong reasons. I don't base my thoughts on a newspaper publishes - I want to see all the angles. If my memory serves me right, does this officer not have a "tainted" past? I may be wrong. Also, Don't get me started on the NBPP situation - that was joke and I wish that would've been my polling place......

September 25, 2010 at 7:33 p.m.
whatever said...

The arresting officer was suspended for violating rules regarding the use of force, according to:

September 25, 2010 at 7:49 p.m.
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