A 17-year-old Woodbridge youth who contends he was arrested falsely last April has filed suit against a police officer and the Town of Quantico, seeking $500,000 in damages.
The suit was filed in Prince William County Circuit Court last month by Anthony Edwards, 17, and his mother, Beatrice Edwards, against police Sgt. Leo Rodriguez, Quantico Mayor Lively Abel and the Quantico Town Council. No court date has been set.
In the suit, the Edwards youth claims he was arrested falsely by Rodriguez, struck several times on the head and body and then forced into the back of a police car. Rodriguez, who was off duty at the time, took Edwards to the police station but no charges were filed.
After the incident, the Town Council suspended Rodriguez for 10 days for "misconduct in office."
Edwards later brought misdemeanor charges of assault and battery against Rodriguez in the Prince William Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Rodriguez pleaded guilty on June 16 to a lesser charge of simple assault and was placed on one-year probation provided he underwent treatment for alcoholism.
"The suit is justified. Anybody would be injured if he were accosted and thrown in the back of a police car for no reason at all," said R. Randolph Willoughby, Edwards' attorney.
Quantico Town Attorney James Turner, who is representing Rodriguez, Abel and the council, said, "I don't think it is proper for a lawyer to try a case in the newspaper. But I think the court proceedings will show that Mr. Rodriguez didn't do much of anything to bother Mr. Edwards."