CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A 67-year-old Charlotte man with chronic kidney problems is suing Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, claiming that officers broke his arm and humiliated his wife while searching their home for someone who’d already been arrested.
William Mobley’s lawsuit says officers broke his arm while serving the search warrant and accosted his wife, who was using the toilet when officers burst through the door in July 2011.
In an e-mail, Mark Newbold, the police department’s attorney, said: “We are reviewing the allegations set out in the complaint and will be filing a response shortly.”
The Mobleys and their attorney, Matthew Fleishman, did not respond to voicemail messages left by the Observer on Wednesday afternoon.
The lawsuit says police served a search warrant on Mobley’s house on Pegram Street in the Belmont neighborhood just east of uptown.
According to the lawsuit, Officer B. P. Matthews and other, unnamed officers had obtained the search warrant and were looking for marijuana and items that could be used to package and sell the drug. They were also looking for a 20-23-year-old man named John, described as 5-foot-9, about 150 pounds with a medium complexion and dreadlocks. The lawsuit says John had been arrested shortly before police served the search warrant and had been released.
When officers broke down the door around 11 a.m. on July 20, 2011, Mobley and his wife, Arlena, were the only ones inside the house, the lawsuit says.
Mobley, the lawsuit says, is 6-foot-1, weighs 185 pounds and has close-cropped hair. He also has a chronic kidney disease, according to the lawsuit, and was lying on his bed, face down, as officers stormed into his house. His wife was in the bathroom, using the toilet.
“One CMPD officer grabbed (Mobley) by the right arm and pulled him from the bed and slammed him onto the floor,” the lawsuit says. It also says an officer dragged him by his left arm across the bedroom floor and placed a knee in Mobley’s back. “A CMPD officer pulled (his) right arm back with such force that it fractured the neck of the humerus, breaking the bone through completely,” the lawsuit says.
Officers also made Arlena Mobley “get off the toilet and onto the ground without any pants on and would not allow her to first clean herself,” according to the lawsuit.
Mobley and his wife were never charged with a crime, according to the lawsuit and a search of criminal records, conducted by the Observer.
Mobley’s civil lawsuit was originally filed in Superior Court, but it was moved to federal court on Wednesday.