Former Aspenite files false arrest suit against Glenwood police
July 3, 2009
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A former Aspen resident claims in a lawsuit that his constitutional rights were violated during a 2008 arrest by Glenwood Springs police.
Gerard Michael Vuolo, 52, filed a complaint in Garfield County District Court on May 22, alleging that he was falsely arrested in September 2008 for unlawful sexual contact.
Vuolo, who listed a Sedona, Ariz., address in the complaint, was arrested Sept. 10, 2008, at a Glenwood Springs laundromat. The allegations of unlawful sexual contact stemmed from an earlier incident that allegedly occurred between Vuolo and an employee at the Smoker Friendly store in Glenwood Springs, according to the complaint.
Vuolo was booked into the Garfield County jail and later released on bond, the complaint stated. The charges were dropped and the case was ultimately dismissed in April, according to court clerk officials.
The complaint alleges that Vuolo was arrested without being told why and was not read his Miranda rights until he was at the jail.
The complaint names the Garfield County Sheriffs Office, Sheriff Lou Vallario, Glenwood Springs Police Department, a former Glenwood Police officer, Glenwood Police Chief Terry Wilson, and the Glenwood Springs Smoker Friendly owners as defendants.
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The suit also accuses the defendants with conspiracy, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering and emotional distress, among other allegations.
Vuolo is seeking $450,000 in damages, as well as reasonable attorney’s fees, costs and expenses. However, Vuolo is representing himself in the case.
According to court documents, a petition for removal was filed on June 25 by Boulder attorney Josh Marks on behalf of the Glenwood Springs Police Department and Wilson. The petition requests that the case be moved to a federal court because the allegations refer to a violation of Vuolo’s constitutional rights, which by law would fall under a federal courts’ jurisdiction, the request states.
According to a petition filed by Marks, the owners of the Smoker Friendly and the former police officer argue that they have either not been properly served in the suit, or have not been served at all.
Neither Marks nor Vuolo returned phone calls seeking comment Thursday. Wilson declined to comment due to pending litigation.