By Bob Weaver|
Former Calhoun State Policeman Thomas F. Yanero is the subject of a
dollar lawsuit filed by a Kanawha County resident. Yanero and Trooper
are accused of assaulting Dale E. Stotler in Roane County during an
February, 2000. The suit contends excessive force was used. Yanero is
to I-79 patrol, having earlier been transferred from Calhoun to Roane
The suit for compensatory and punitive damages has been filed by
Oscar Hines. One million dollars is the maximum amount allowed by the
Board of Risk.
The State of West Virginia has paid over nine million dollars in
claims brought against
troopers since 1994, mostly for brutality cases.
Several high profile cases have gone public, including an incident in
troopers were drinking and beat a man who requested them to be quiet.
Some of the
policemen then went to the 911 center to remove a tape which recorded
much of the
conversation during the incident.
Stotler says the policemen assaulted him while he was handcuffed at
contending at least one of the troopers ground his knee into his right
repeatedly smashed his head into the ground. The suit says Stotler
to the head, face, neck, shoulder and left hand, requiring medical
Trooper Yanero was the subject of a Calhoun County grand jury
January, 2000, where he was charged with battery against 17-year-old
of Grantsville. Stump contended Yanero pushed his head into a car
trunk after a
traffic stop, making a dent. The indictment was dropped the following
day because of
the statute of limitations. The State Police did rule against Trooper
the charges may have been removed from his record.
A Freedom of Information request filed with the State Police by The
Hur Herald was
denied. The Herald sought to obtain the number of misconduct
investigations filed in Calhoun, some of them against Trooper Yanero.
Sgt. Ingold of
the Professional Standards Division said "The data base does not
Other incidents in Calhoun County have resulted in charges of
troopers, including the throwing of a MagLite by Trooper Doug Starcher
rear window of a car. The internal affairs division sustained those
witness John David Stump was called back to a hearing where Starcher
had filed a
grievance to have the charges removed.
An earlier incident involved the expelling of mace in a local bar,
sending customers to
the hospital. Owner Tom Rader said Yanero became angry when he was
quit bothering the customers," after which he pepper-sprayed inside
club. Yanero said he dropped or bumped the canister, causing the
There are legislative efforts to create a civilian review board,
claiming "blue on blue"
investigations do not work. Del. Larry Faircloth, R-Berkley contends
centers on a lack of supervision.
Dave Moye, head of the West Virginia Troopers Association told the AP
boards give "citizens a false sense of security" and citizens already
have input into
police affairs. The West Virginia State Police is adamant against