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Man Gets Gift Cards After Wrongful Detainment, Drugging (Photos)

Man Gets Gift Cards After Wrongful Detainment, Drugging (Photos) Promo Image

A Pennsylvania man is suing his local police department over a case of mistaken identity, wrongful detainment and forced medical treatment.

Eugene Wright, 63, was sitting in his home on June 15, 2017, when Meadville police and a behavioral health representative confronted him.

"They explained to me earlier that day at 10 a.m. I was at an orthopedic office threatening people," the recent retiree told WPXI.

Wright asserts that he was still working at Advance Auto Parts when the alleged incident took place. He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he returned home at around 1:45 p.m.

Neither the officers nor the Stairways Behavioral Health member checked his ID or contacted his employer to verify Wright's alibi.

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Despite repeatedly telling the two guard officers watching him that he was not their man, one of the officers reportedly insisted that Wright was the right person, The Washington Post reports.

"I was powerless," said Wright. "I had no control of what was going on down there."

Police took Wright to Meadville Medical Center, where doctors injected him with the antipsychotic medication Haldol and the antianxiety drug Ativan. The injections sent him into a blackout that lasted more than 12 hours, according to The Washington Post.

Though his memory is fuzzy after being injected, Wright says he still has nightmares over what occurred.

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The emergency room team later realized the crisis center supervisor hadn't recorded Wright's birth date when the orthopedic office contacted the center about the incident, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

The person they were looking for was a different Eugene Wright.

The hospital's apology? A $50 gift card to a local steakhouse. The crisis center, meanwhile, gave him a $25 gift card to Walmart. Wright says he used the gift cards, but was still not adequately repaid for the incident.

On Jan. 3, Wright and his wife Carolyn filed a federal lawsuit against the Meadville Police Department, Stairways Behavioral Health and the Meadville Medical Center. The suit charges the defendants with assault and battery, negligence, violating Wright's constitutional rights and other crimes.

Wright also states that authorities and medical workers failed to take any steps to confirm his identity, such as calling his family, checking his driver's license or looking at his social security card.

"The experience that I went through, this should never happen to anybody," Wright said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It's very simple to check ID. These people need to be held responsible."

Sources: WXPI, The Washington Post, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: WPXI, Lake Fong/Post-Gazette

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