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What Happened to James Chasse: Brett Burton involved - Woman sues for false arrest, battery

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Brett Burton involved - Woman sues for false arrest, battery

Use of force - The suit is the third filed since last week involving Portland police

From The Oregonian


A 45-year-old mother of eight whose arm was broken when a police officer and a sheriff's deputy put her in a control hold is suing the city of Portland and Multnomah County for false arrest and battery.

According to the suit filed this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Lyudmila Trivol arrived home at her Southeast Portland condo on May 27, 2006, to find a tow truck hooked up to the family minivan. The minivan was parked in its proper spot, but its wheels were intruding a half-foot into the condominium association's bark dust. Trivol's husband had already been arguing with the tow-truck driver and had sliced the truck's tire with a knife.

Two Portland police officers and two Multnomah County sheriff's deputies responded. Trivol -- a Ukrainian immigrant who already felt targeted by what the suit describes as repeated, xenophobic harassment by the Cherry Park Condominium Association -- was furious, concedes Gregory Kafoury, Trivol's attorney.

Kafoury said Officer James Botaitis and Deputy Brett Burton had no justification for putting Trivol in a control hold.

"She had not assaulted anyone; she was an upset lady," Kafoury said.

Burton was one of the officers who wrestled to subdue James Chasse Jr., who had schizophrenia, shortly before the mentally ill man died in September 2006.


Trivol was charged in circuit court with resisting arrest, harassment, disorderly conduct and assaulting a public safety officer for kicking Burton in the shin as he lifted her from the ground. Prosecutors, however, dropped the charges in December 2006.

The Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office do not comment on pending litigation.

The suit seeks $221,000 from the city and the county and $700,000 from the condo association and the association's president.

The suit is the third claiming false arrest and excessive force filed against Portland police since last week.

The City Council on Wednesday is scheduled to approve a $150,000 payment to settle a federal lawsuit against a Portland officer accused of using excessive force against a woman after she swore at him following a traffic stop.

Barbara Weich, formerly of Portland, filed the lawsuit March 23 in U.S. District Court against Officer Gregory Adrian and the city of Portland, also accusing him of malicious prosecution and battery. She suffered a head injury and a broken left arm, according to her lawyer.

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