Pierceton man to sue police agencies and Wawasee Schools

A Pierceton man has filed a lawsuit against two police agencies and Wawasee Community School Corp., seeking compensation from an alleged false arrest in 2013.

Clifford Clevenger claims he was held in custody without probable cause by law enforcement after trying to visit his son at North Webster Elementary during lunch.

The suit, filed by Clevenger Tuesday in Kosciusko County Superior I, alleges he faced assault, false imprisonment, false arrest and emotional distress.

Defendants in the case include North Webster Police Department, Kosciusko?County Sheriff’s Department, KCSD deputies Rick Shepherd and Floyd Knafel,  North Webster Town Marshal Greg Church, Wawasee school district, North Webster Elementary, and Christine Holst, an employee of the elementary.

The incident happened on Nov. 14, 2013.

The suit claims the defendants “acted jointly and in concert with each other,” and did not protect Clevenger from the unlawful actions of the other defendants.

He seeks damages for loss of job, mental anguish and humiliation. The dollar amount will be determined later, according to the suit.

A tort claim on the matter was filed in 2014 and it has now progressed to a lawsuit.

Clevenger went to North Webster Elementary where his estranged wife worked and his son attended. Clevenger intended to have lunch with his son.

At the school’s front office, Holst told Clevenger to wait while she got Church.

Church told Clevenger he was not allowed on school property due to a protective order Clevenger’s wife had  against him, the suit states.

Clevenger took out paperwork to show the order had been vacated by the court.

Church took the paperwork and Holst told him the school could deny access to his son no matter what, the suit alleges.

The suit alleges Knafel arrived and said he didn’t care what Clevenger or the paperwork said.

“I’m going to take you to jail,” Knafel said, according to the suit.

Officers then arrested Clevenger on an invasion of privacy charge for violating the protective order.

Shepherd entered the room and transported Clevenger to Kosciusko?County jail.

The Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office did not pursue charges against?Clevenger.

The suit alleges the officers refused to look at Clevenger’s paperwork or call the court to verify the protective order had been lifted.

The suit alleges Clevenger’s estranged wife told Church that the protective order had been lifted but no one listened.

No court dates have been scheduled as of this morning.