Clearfield teen sues after spin in dryer

May 21 2012 - 11:18pm

CLEARFIELD -- A Clearfield teen who took at least 10 rotations inside a clothes dryer, claiming the dryer was turned on under the direction of Clearfield Police, has filed a civil lawsuit against the city in federal court.

Chandler Russell Rose, 19, filed the lawsuit May 17 in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, said Loren M. Lambert, the Midvale-based attorney representing Rose.

The lawsuit, and a recent class B misdemeanor ruling against Rose for consuming an "alcoholic product" as a minor, stem from a New Year's Day party Clearfield Police responded to, and the subsequent action that followed.

Rose was found guilty on May 11 of the misdemeanor charge by a four-member jury in a Clearfield Justice Court. Rose received a $1,323 fine, $500 of it suspended, and a 50-day suspended jail sentence on the condition he pay the fine, according to court documents.

Lambert has since appealed the misdemeanor ruling to Clearfield Justice Court Judge John L. Sandberg, while the federal case filed against the city may take months to be heard.

The hope with the lawsuit is to receive $5,000 to $15,000 in compensation to cover Rose's medical costs, and to demonstrate how "unprofessional" police acted that morning by toying with the female resident, giving her direction to turn the dryer on where Rose had hid out of fear of the police.

"(The police) asked someone there to turn on the dryer," Lambert said. "They let it go for a little while and then pulled him out."

"(Rose) said it felt like he was getting punched in the back," Lambert said.

His client may have also briefly lost consciousness during the incident, he said.

Clearfield Police, when contacted about the incident, referred all media inquiries to city legal staff.

"We have been informed a suit was filed, but have not been served yet," Clearfield City Attorney Brian Brower said. "It is the practice of the city not to comment on pending litigation."

"In a videotape (of the incident and subsequent interview), Rose told police he had rotated at least 10 times," Lambert said.

Both responding officers were wearing video-cams on their uniforms, according to Lambert.

However, the same video of the arrest was shown to jurors in Rose's misdemeanor trial, after it was entered into the court as evidence. It took jurors 57 minutes of deliberation to return with a guilty verdict against Rose.

But Lambert contends the way police handled the situation is a violation of Rose's civil rights.

The situation at the home was only made worse by police, Lambert said, even though police are likely going to make the excuse the resident of the home didn't tell them Rose was inside the dryer.

"The police directed the resident to turn on the dryer. (Police) should have known that playing those games is not appropriate for a police officer," Lambert said. "They thought they were being cute and funny."

"(The police) just figured this was just a regular day of business," Lambert said, frustrated at the officer's unapologetic and cocky demeanor during the Rose trial.

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