Lawsuits filed against the City of Sarasota - WFLA News Channel 8

Lawsuits filed against the City of Sarasota

Posted: Updated:
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Three men are suing the city of Sarasota, claiming they were treated harshly and falsely arrested by Sarasota police officers.

They are suing for monetary damages, but the attorney also said these suits have a message that officers cannot abuse their authority and get away with it.

In February 2012, Christopher Young was writing peace messages on a sidewalk with chalk.

His work was interrupted when he was stopped, handcuffed while on the ground and arrested.

There is also a video from August 2012. Jason Dragash had gotten into an argument with an officer, and eventually the video shows the officer beating him and restraining him until he was unconscious. He then arrested him.

That officer was later fired.

And there's this story from November 2012.

A homeless man, Darren Kersey was arrested for charging his cell phone in a public park.

At the time Kersey said, "I thought he was gonna let me go. I thought it was a joke."

Charges against all three were later dropped, so now, the three men have filed lawsuits against the city and these respective police officers.

The plaintiffs claim they were falsely arrested.

Attorney Andrea Mogensen said, "Power is not absolute. If they don't use it responsibly, litigation can occur."

Attorney Andrea Mogensen represents the three men.

They're suing for $15,000 in monetary damages.

She says it's telling that despite the harsh arrests, charges were later dropped.

Mogensen said, "From a practical view, that is a sign that the arrests did lack merit."

Kersey is filing a lawsuit on one count of false arrest, but the other two men, Dragash and Young, are suing on a count of false arrest and battery.

Mogensen is waiting to hear back from the city.

Mogensen said, "They're important to keep government in check to remind them their power is not absolute and they need to use them responsibly. If they do not, then there will be repercussions."

The city attorney has not gotten back to us at this time.

The police chief could not comment, only saying these events all occurred before her tenure here.


  • NewsMore>>

  • Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter

    Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:32 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:32:48 GMT
    Pope Francis is celebrating Christianity's most joyous day, Easter Sunday, under sunny skies in St. Peter's Square.
    Marking Christianity's most hopeful day, Pope Francis made an Easter Sunday plea for peace and dialogue in Ukraine and Syria, for an end to terrorist attacks against Christians in Nigeria and for more attention to the...
  • Marijuana firm purchases buildings in Manatee County

    Marijuana firm purchases buildings in Manatee County

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:31:04 GMT
    Registered voters in Florida vote on the issue in November. Registered voters in Florida vote on the issue in November.
    A publicly traded firm that appears to be positioning itself in advance of a medical marijuana vote in Florida later this year has acquired a trio of industrial buildings just north of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.The Herald-Tribune reports that Cannabis Rx is believed to have recently paid roughly $1.2 million for the 9.26-acre property.
    A publicly traded firm that appears to be positioning itself in advance of a medical marijuana vote in Florida later this year has acquired a trio of industrial buildings just north of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.The Herald-Tribune reports that Cannabis Rx is believed to have recently paid roughly $1.2 million for the 9.26-acre property.
  • Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation

    Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:52:42 GMT
    The confirmed death toll from South Korea's ferry disaster rose past 50 on Sunday as divers finally found a way inside the sunken vessel, quickly discovering more than a dozen bodies in what almost certainly is...
    A transcript released Sunday shows the South Korean ferry that sank was crippled with confusion and indecision well after it began listing dangerously, possibly adding to a death toll that is officially at 58 but could...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Arcadia dog set on fire improving, could be released early

    Arcadia dog set on fire improving, could be released early

    Tuesday, April 1 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-04-02 03:26:55 GMT
    "Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo"Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo
    A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
    A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
  • Trending: World's most haunted island up for auction

    Trending: World's most haunted island up for auction

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:17:05 GMT
    Poveglia. Image Wikimedia CommonsPoveglia. Image Wikimedia Commons
     A small "haunted" island off the coast of Italy near Venice will hit the auction block in May.
    A small "haunted" island off the coast of Italy near Venice will hit the auction block in May.
  • News Channel 8's set teardown and rebuild

    News Channel 8's set teardown and rebuild

    Monday, March 31 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-03-31 18:04:05 GMT
    We're excited to announce the construction of a brand new set here at News Channel 8!
    We're excited to announce the construction of a brand new set here at News Channel 8!
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.