Overland Park lawyer files $7 million lawsuit alleging she was unlawfully detained

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An attorney in Overland Park filed a $7 million federal civil lawsuit against the city of Overland Park, its police chief, the Johnson County District Attorney and the county sheriff alleging she was falsely arrested and detained following an altercation with a relative.

Shauna McRoberts said she was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic assault and detained for 22 hours on Sept. 16, 2018 by Overland Park police after they responded to her parents’ home.

In the 37-page lawsuit, McRoberts said she was the victim of an assault but police arrested and detained her for no reason.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are the city of Overland Park, Police Chief Frank Donchez, District Attorney Steve Howe, the Johnson County Commission, Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden, several Overland Park police officers and a Johnson County detention worker and a Johnson County paramedic.

Sean Reilly, a spokesman for the city, said the city has not received a copy of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Kansas alleges unlawful arrest and detention, denial of due process, conspiracy, malicious prosecution, failure to train and supervise.

McRoberts said she is a longtime Overland Park resident, a U.S. Army combat veteran, and a licensed attorney. The lawsuit alleges that McRoberts’ sister had a long history of illegally using her identity — including name, social security number, and other identifying information.

McRoberts said she was visiting her parents when her sister arrived and the two argued while they were outside.

At one point, the sister pinned McRoberts inside the driver’s side car door, floored the accelerator, and dragged her down the pavement, according to the lawsuit. At the bottom of the street, the sister let the driver’s side door fly open, releasing McRoberts, who pitched forward, skinning her head on the concrete, the lawsuit alleged.

“Shoeless, bleeding, completely shaken from the sudden and unprompted vicious assault at the hands of her sister, and in agonizing pain, Plaintiff ran screaming back to her parents’ house. After seeing her condition, Plaintiff’s step-father dialed 911,” according to the lawsuit.

McRoberts told arriving officers and emergency workers what happened. One paramedic told McRoberts that her “story” was hard to believe, as she was strapped to a stretcher in an ambulance, covered in bleeding wounds,” according to the lawsuit.

An officer did not ask follow-up questions, nor raise any questions or doubts to the veracity of McRoberts’s accounting of the incident, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and $5 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages.

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