Judge to decide merit of claim by suspect


A Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge will decide whether there is merit to a claim filed by a man who was struck by a police cruiser while he was fleeing on foot from police attempting to stop him.

Judge Myron Duhart heard oral arguments Monday from attorneys on behalf of both Nathaniel Lewis and the Officer Diane Chandler. Mr. Lewis alleged in a complaint filed that he was stopped after a police pursuit in January, 2010, when he was hit by Officer Chandler's vehicle, causing injury.

An attorney for the city argued that because Lewis was a “fleeing felon” at the time of the incident, Officer Chandler had a duty to respond and apprehend the suspect. Lewis’ attorneys countered that the city was negligent in that it did not appropriately train its officers for vehicle pursuits of on-foot suspects.

The lawsuit had previously been filed in U.S. District Court in Toledo but was dismissed by Judge James Carr, who noted that the plaintiff could pursue claims in state court. The case was then refiled in Lucas County Common Pleas Court in January.