Radio station sued after police Mace child at Mudstock event

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Feb. 27, 2012, 9:53am


TYLER - A radio station is being sued for negligence after police allegedly used mace on a mother and child at the annual Mudstock event in Cherokee County.

Janette Vaught, individually and as next friend of minor H.Y., filed suit against Townsquare Media L.L.C., Cherokee County, Donald Williams, individually and in his official capacity, unknown sheriff's deputy, individually and in his official capacity and Sheriff James Campbell, in his official capacity, on Feb. 15 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

The incident occurred on Oct. 16, 2010, as Vaught and her 11-year-old daughter were passengers on an all-terrain vehicle at the Mudstock event in Cherokee County. The annual event is organized by Townsquare Media.

As the driver of the all-terrain vehicle approached a stage, police officers grabbed his arm and used Mace on the driver and on Vaught and her daughter.

Vaught states that she attempted to file a written report with the sheriff regarding the incident but a proper investigation was not conducted.

She claims she was told to contact the FBI.

The defendants are accused of assault, battery, negligence, violating the constitutional rights of Vaught and her daughter and violating the Texas Tort Claims Act.

Defendant Townsquare is accused of:

  • Negligence for failing to provide a safe area for its event;
  • Failing to screen, interview or hire competent security officers;
  • Failing to train or supervise its employees;
  • Failing to hire an adequate number of security personnel; and
  • Failing to warn or prohibit invitees from or about bringing or using alcohol at a large public event where children and motorized vehicles were present.

    The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages for physical injuries, emotional distress including loss of appetite, loss of sleep, anxiety, punitive damages, interest, court costs and attorney's fees.

    On behalf of the minor, the plaintiff is seeking damages for emotional trauma, loss of sleep, anxiety, loss of appetite and fear.

    A jury trial is requested.

    Vaught is represented by Darren Grant and Matthew B. Flanery of Grant & Flanery PC in Tyler.

    Case No. 6:12-cv-00071

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