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Case against sheriff’s deputies dismissed

Thu., May 7, 2009, 11:29 a.m.

A federal judge has ruled in favor of Spokane County in a suit brought by a man who claimed that sheriff’s deputies beat him inside a Spokane Valley bar on Super Bowl Sunday 2003.

U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle dismissed all of the claims made by Douglas L. Myser, essentially saying the case had no merit. Van Sickle heard the case and issued his written decision earlier this week.

Myser alleged that he suffered memory loss and post traumatic stress disorder since the Jan. 26, 2003 confrontation between him and three Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies: Jeff Shover, Mark Gregory and Brett Peterson. Myser and his attorney, John Muenster, claimed that the deputies threw him to the floor and later drove him to an undisclosed location where the deputies beat him unconscious.

But Van Sickle ruled that Myser did not provide corroborating evidence to show he was assaulted in the bar. And, Van Sickle noted that photographs taken at the jail don’t suggest he suffered any more injuries than the confrontation with deputies at the bar.

Spokane County Risk Manager Steve Bartel said he was pleased with Van Sickle’s ruling.

“It’s still appalling for me how much money taxpayers have spent in defending a lawsuit we felt from the beginning had no merit,” Bartel said.

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