Lawsuits against police allege wrongful conduct | AspenTimes.com

Lawsuits against police allege wrongful conduct

Joel Stonington

Two women are alleging serious wrongdoing and injurious conduct by Aspen police officers on duty. Police arrested both women on charges that were later dropped. Their lawsuits claim poor levels of training led to the incidents. Bronwyn Anglin, a former Aspen resident, alleges she was forcibly tranquilized while in the Pitkin County Jail after a wrongful arrest. Suzanne Weinstock of Florida claims an unlawful entry and search of the home she was renting.The lawsuits, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Denver, name as defendants six Aspen police officers, Aspen Police Chief Loren Ryerson and Assistant Chief Glenn Schaffer, Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, one county deputy, the city of Aspen, Pitkin County, Aspen Valley Hospital, a doctor and two paramedics. Attorneys from the city of Aspen and Pitkin County were not available for comment before late Friday afternoon. Anglin’s case stems from her report of an assault on Dec. 11, 2004. Aspen officers Melinda Calvano (whom the city recently fired for inappropriate use of a Taser on a homeless woman) and Dan Davis responded to the call and arrested Anglin’s friend, whom Anglin said was the victim of the assault.Anglin went to bail out her friend, thinking she would be gone 20-30 minutes, and left her child under the care of a friend. Jail officials told her they could release her friend on $250 bail. So Anglin took her friend’s bank card to the nearest ATM.Upon return to the jail, Davis told Anglin that her friend could not leave jail and that if Anglin stayed at the jail, she would be under arrest. She called 911, hoping to get the sheriff’s office, but the 911 operator called Calvano, and Anglin then was arrested.Anglin claims that Davis and Calvano laughed at her when she requested a phone call from jail to ensure child care. She knocked on the cell door multiple times and alleges that Davis returned and stated, “If you don’t shut up, I will have you sedated.”Anglin claims officers injected her with a sedative during a subsequent scuffle in which she received multiple injuries from leg shackles and rough treatment.Weinstock’s case alleges police went to the Durant Street house she was subletting to check on the well-being of one of her friends who hadn’t shown up for work. After Weinstock got out of the shower to answer a call from Aspen Officer Eric Ross, he and Officer John Rushing knocked on the door. Weinstock said she was not wearing clothes, the friend the officers were looking for wasn’t in the house, and she couldn’t answer the door. She called 911 and asked that the officers leave, at which time police dispatched two more officers and Schaffer to the house.Weinstock claims officers continued knocking and threatened to break down the door if she did not open it. She opened the door a crack and asked them to leave, saying she was nude. The lawsuit says Ross placed his foot in the way, making it impossible for her to close the door, and all five officers followed her into the residence without a warrant. She also alleges the officers questioned her as she dressed in the bedroom, then ordered her out of the house as they searched the residence.Police arrested Weinstock on suspicion of false reporting for giving her stage name of the past 15 years. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com