Roanoke Police Forcefully Enter Man's Home, Attack Him, And Arrest On False Charges

The lawsuit claims a man was dragged from his home and charged with public intoxication.

A Roanoke man is asking for $10 million in a federal lawsuit that says city police officers improperly arrested him.

The lawsuit that George William Roberts filed Thursday stems from a May 11 incident in which Roberts was charged with public intoxication. The charge was later dismissed in General District Court.

Melvin Williams, who is representing Roberts, said court testimony indicated that police were answering a call about someone disturbing the peace. After speaking to neighbors, they went to Roberts' door in the 800 block of Peck Street.

According to the lawsuit, Roberts' girlfriend answered and when asked if anyone else was home, she told them Roberts was getting dressed in a back room. As she spoke, Roberts walked into the living room where he could be seen from the door.

Officers pushed into the house, seized Roberts, dragged him outside and charged him with being drunk in public, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit says police trespassed and committed assault and battery, and that they violated both the U.S. Constitution's prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure and Virginia law by entering without a warrant.

Roanoke police spokesman Capt. Chris Perkins said Wednesday that he had not yet seen the lawsuit.