Three Turtle Lake residents, Daniel and Ann M. Lamphere, and James R. Meyer, have filed suit against the Barron County Sheriff’s Department in connection with what they contend was property damage, personal injury, wrongful detainment and arrest, and violation of their Fourth Amendment rights in connection with a domestic disturbance early Tuesday morning Sept. 18, 2018.
The suit centers on a domestic disturbance that allegedly took place at 115 Arthur Ave., W., Turtle Lake, even though the alleged disturbance allegedly happened more than half a mile away, at a residence at 501 Grand Ave., Turtle Lake.
The suit names seven individual defendants, including Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, three deputies, and two workers in the county Emergency Communications Center who were on duty at the time. Also named is a county sheriff’s detective, whom, according to the suit, had allegedly failed to investigate the alleged rape of one of the plaintiffs, two years before the Sept. 18 incident.
The suit describes how dispatchers received a 911 hang-up call on the night of Sept. 18, 2018, from a cell phone belonging to a woman who lives at 501 Grand Ave., Turtle Lake.
Dispatchers allegedly sent deputies to the Arthur Avenue location, when the alleged domestic dispute was going on at the Grand Avenue location.
In the course of investigating the incident at Arthur Avenue, deputies allegedly broke a garage door, window screen and front door to gain entry.
The suit said that in a later encounter with deputies at the Arthur Avenue location, plaintiff Ann Lamphere was allegedly injured, and that her glasses were broken.
The suit asks for damages of $70,000.
County officials were asked to comment on the allegations.
John Muench, corporation counsel, said the plaintiffs “filed a Notice of Injury and Claim in December (2018) regarding alleged injuries and damages arising out of (the incident).
“The Barron County Board of Supervisors disallowed the claim and this lawsuit arises from that incident,” Muench added.
“The matter has been referred to Wisconsin County Mutual Insurance Corporation, (which) will assign an attorney to represent the county and file an answer to the complaint.”
County Administrator Jeff French said he had been advised by legal counsel not to comment. Sheriff Fitzgerald did not immediately respond to a request for comment.