(01/13/2006)
A civil suit alleging police misconduct has been filed against state policeman Sgt. T. F. "Tommy" Yanero in Gilmer County Circuit Court.

David A. Minor, who was the object of a 2004 chase by Yanero, claims the officer punched and kicked him after the stop, causing him to have lacerations, but he was "able to put his head under the vehicle to protect his head from sustaining more serious injuries."

He claims he sustained internal injuries inflaming a recent hernia operation.

The suit alleges Yanero bent his middle finger until it was broken, and a nurse at North Central Regional Jail refused to admit him as a prisoner because of his injuries.

Minor claims he was to be taken to United Hospital Center in Clarksburg for treatment, but instead Yanero released him from custody outside the jail.

Yanero, who denies any wrong doing, claims Minor refused medical treatment. "That was a lie," Minor said.

The suit says Yanero testified under oath that "when someone in his custody refuses medical treatment, he has no choice but to turn them loose."

Minor maintains that "I suppose if I had committed a murder I could have simply injured myself in the process, refused medical attention and Sgt. Yanero would just let me go."

Minor's suit and the officer's report both say he did not resist after he was stopped.

Minor petitioned the Professional Standards Section of the West Virginia State Police, saying Yanero is a "violent" person and a full investigation needs to be undertaken.

Yanero's police report in the Minor case, said his in-car video camera was not working during the incident, a problem that has occurred in other cases when individuals have accused the officer of misconduct.

Yanero was indicted for battery on a Calhoun youth during a traffic stop, but the charges were dropped because of a statue of limitations.

He was charged with thrusting Jason Stump's head into his car trunk, denting the trunk.

The State Police sustained charges of misconduct, but the charges may have been taken from his record because he was made a "Trooper of the Year."

After Yanero was transferred to Roane County, he was the subject of a million dollar civil suit for allegedly beating a drunken driver who declined to stop and was the object of a slow-speed chase.

The video camera recorded only snippets of the incident, with long sections blacked-out.

Yanero was also accused of pulling a weapon on a deputy tax assessor in Gilmer County when he came to the officer's house.

Minor was charged with driving suspended, fleeing, reckless driving, improper registration and no insurance.

Minor is requesting damages and is seeking a jury trial.


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