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Wilson v. Miller

United States District Court, D. Delaware

November 6, 2018

JAMES A. WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DET. JORDEN MILLER, DET. BUMGARNER, LT. RICHARDSON, DET. SCOTT HURD, OFFICER PETER MARTINEK, PROBATION OFFICER RICK PORTER, PROBATION OFFICER STAGG, SGT. HUMPHREY, OFFICER HANNON, OFFICER PEER, OFFICER SCHMIDTH, CPL. WISNIEWSKI, Defendants.

          James A. Wilson - Pro Se

          Plaintiff Daniel A. Griffith, Kaan Ekiner, Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP, Wilmington, DE - Attorneys for Defendants Det. Jordan Miller, Det. Bumgarner, Lt. Richardson, Det. Scott Hurd, Officer Peter Martinek, Sgt. Humphrey, Officer Hannon, Officer Peer, Officer Schmidth, and Cpl. Wisniewski

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NOREIKA U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff James A. Wilson ("Plaintiff or "Mr. Wilson") filed this action, pro se, against defendants: officers from the Dover Police Department - Detective Jorden Miller, Detective Bumgarner, Lieutenant Richardson, Detective Scott Hurd, Officer Peter Martinek, Sergeant Humphrey, Officer Hannon, Officer Peer, Officer Schmidth, and Cpl. Wisniewski (collectively the "Dover Defendants"), Probation Officer Daniel Stagg ("Stagg"), and Probation Officer Rick Porter ("Porter"), alleging violations of his civil rights and violations of the federal and state constitutions.[1] (D.I. 1). Pending before the court is a motion for summary judgment (D.I. 52) filed by the Dover Defendants. For the reasons discussed below, the Court will grant the motion for summary judgment.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Court has reviewed the facts alleged in the Complaint as well as relevant evidence offered by Dover Defendants[2] and Plaintiff.[3] Plaintiffs Complaint is based on his interaction with the Dover Defendants, Stagg and Porter while police were executing a search warrant at a business named Many Things located on Loockerman Street in Dover, Delaware. (D.I. 1; D.I. 53-1 at A- 40, 47). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges (D.I. 1):

[O]n 04-04-13 officer Peter Martinek pulled his unmarked patrol car in front of plaintiff blocking him so that he could not move on his own free will. Probation officer Rick Porter jumped out of the unmarked car with gun drawn in the direction of plaintiff pointing the gun at plaintiff face causing plaintiff to fear for his LIFE which caused plaintiff to pull off hit a building and a truck with passengers in it.
Plaintiff got out of the laid down in a surrendering posture when an officer ran up on plaintiff and hit him in the head with a blunt instrument causing plaintiff to go in and out of consciousness as plaintiff was already suffering from injuries shouting you are lucky that it is day time and that people are out here.
The unlawful actions of the officer who hit plaintiff in the head after plaintiff laid down on the ground in a surrender position amounts to excessive force, assault in the 2nd degree and conspiracy with the other officers whom witness the crime by their non acts failure to file charges on the officer whom assaulted plaintiff nor did the other officers arrest the officer whom struck plaintiff in his head after he surrendered by laying on the ground.
Officers fail to file reports and arrest the officer for assaulting plaintiff, therefore, their non acts was in agreement with the officer whom assaulted plaintiff....
Plaintiff states that he was never taken to the hospital for his injuries that he sustained from the car accident and from the police officer or probation officer, law official who hit him in his head despite the fact that plaintiff requested medical attention.
Plaintiff states that officers . . . non actions Miller, Bumgarner, Harmon, Peer, Schmidth, Wisniewski amount to conspiracy ....

         Mr. Wilson was the subject of the search warrant. (D.I. 53-1 at A-40, 47). While the police were executing the search warrant, they observed Mr. Wilson on the street near the business. (D.I. 53-1 at A-40, 47). Detective Bumgarner called for a police unit to stop Mr. Wilson. (D.I. 53-1 at A-40). A black vehicle occupied by Dover Police Officer Martinek and Porter responded to the call. (D.I. 53-1 at A-40-41). Mr. Wilson then got into his car and fled. (D.I. 53-1 at A-41). Mr. Wilson ultimately ran a red light and collided with another vehicle, a white Chevrolet pick-up truck, when he entered the intersection at North Street. (D.I. 53-1 at A-18-19, 42). The driver of the pick-up truck suffered a laceration to the head. (D.I. 53-1 at A-019). The passenger of the pick-up truck suffered a bruised knee, head contusion, and neck pain. (Id.).

         After the collision, Mr. Wilson fled on foot from the officers. (D.I. 53-1 at A-19). It was Porter who ultimately apprehended and took Mr. Wilson into custody. (D.I. 53-1 at A-047; A-034-36). While being apprehended, Plaintiff alleges that he was hit over the head and kicked. (D.I. 1 at 1; D.I. 58 at 1-2). A security video shows Porter "kicking in the direction of Mr. Wilson." (D.I. 53-1 at A-047).[4] Consistent with that, at his deposition, Plaintiff confirmed his belief that Porter struck him, and that he could not say that any other officer had hit him.[5] (D.I. 53-1 at A-34-35, 38). Similarly, in ...


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