Family sues city over death in river

Published 10:12 am Thursday, September 17, 2009

IRONTON — A federal lawsuit filed by the parents of James Aaron Roe, who drowned after he was allegedly tasered by Ironton police while standing in the Ohio River, has been set for a jury trial beginning May 17, 2010.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Hogan instructed the date, according to a Calendar Order submitted in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.

The complaint, filed by Roe’s parents, James Roe and Lois Porter, was submitted in federal court on May 30, 2008.

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The lawsuit seeks more than $2 million in damages and names the city of Ironton, the Ironton Police Department and officers Brian Pauley, Stephen Wilson and Mitchell Crum in their official and individual capacities.

In their complaint, Roe’s parents allege following an altercation at the Fuzzy Duck’s outdoor beer garden that required police intervention, an officer tasered Roe while he was standing in the Ohio River questioning why he was being arrested.

The suit also alleges that when one of the released TASER bars hit Roe, he went under water and that police refused to assist him and did not allow others present at the scene to assist or use any type of rope or life buoy to help in the rescue.

Roe’s body was recovered the following day. The complaint states that Roe been “intoxicated” during the confrontation with police and was “unsteady on his feet.”

The city has denied the allegations and that Roe was even tasered.

Columbus–based attorney Kenneth Harris, is representing them.

Kenneth Reed of Ludlow, Ky. is representing Roe’s estate.