Last week, Medora teenager Andrew Ruyle, 18, filed charges against Shipman Mayor Daniel Barnett, 56 for an incident that occurred last July. Barnett, who also serves on the Shipman police force, pulled Ruyle over while he was driving an ATV on a public road. Ruyle claims Barnett cut in front of his vehicle at a high speed, causing Ruyle to break two fingers on the hand brake of the ATV. Aside from allegations that Barnett disregarded the teen’s safety while making the stop, the suit also claims that the vehicle Barnett was operating was not marked as a police vehicle and that no sirens or lights were used while making the stop. Ruyle, who was one of two ATV operators that night, was charged with illegal operation of an ATV on a state highway but has not pleaded guilty.
As a result of the accident, Ruyle developed a staph infection in one of the injured fingers resulting in hospitalization and the threat that the finger may have to be amputated if it does not improve. The injury has resulted in 3 surgeries to date. While no court date has been set, Ruyle is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 to cover his injuries and medical expenses.
Barnett has gone on the record stating he feels the case is misleading. He denies that the stop occurred under high speeds and claims he pulled Ruyle over in his personal vehicle because Shipman’s sole squad car was in use by the officer on duty. While Barnett’s truck has a blue light in it, he states that he did not turn it on that particular night because it was not plugged in.
WWF&G attorney Mike Glisson is representing Ruyle in this four-count lawsuit against Barnett. The firm aggressively represents victims of injuries related to negligence involved in accidents, including those involving municipalities. WWF&G currently represents the victim of a crash involving a Collinsville Police Officer, and recently resolved a case against the Collinsville Police for civil rights violations during an unlawful search of a home. If you or a friend have been injured, please do not hesitate to contact the law firm of WWF&G at 1-800-WWFGLAW or 618-567-8030.