Columbia girl sues, alleging police abuse

July 09, 1998|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

A 13-year-old Columbia girl and her mother are suing the Howard County Police Department, alleging officers wrongfully handcuffed and pointed a gun at the girl during a raid on a Long Reach home.

Alicia El alleges that she was sitting on the steps of a home on Flowerstock Row with a friend in March 1997 when officers arrived to search the home.

The officers threw El and her friend, who is not named in the suit, into the bushes, trained guns at their backs and handcuffed them before entering the building, the suit asserts.

Defendants in the suit are County Executive Charles I. Ecker; former Police Chief James N. Robey; two police officers and the state of Maryland.

Senior Assistant County Solicitor F. Todd Taylor said he could not comment on the suit because he had not seen it.

The suit, filed June 30 in Howard Circuit Court, seeks $20 million in damages.

The family's attorney, Brian K. McDaniel, said the suit stemmed from what he called an abuse of process.

"It was clear that Alicia was not related in any way to the premises," McDaniel said. "Why they did not just tell [the girls] to go away is another question."

After the raid, an officer removed El's handcuffs and drove her home, according to the suit.

Pub Date: 7/09/98

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