Man sues East Cleveland cops for locking him in closet after fraudulent cocaine arrest

Arnold Black is suing for false imprisonment, battery, malicious prosecution and civil conspiracy.

By Evan Bleier
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EAST CLEVELAND , Ohio, May 1 (UPI) -- An Ohio man has filed a $3 million lawsuit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court alleging that he beaten by a drunken detective and held in a storage closet for two days after a fraudulent arrest for cocaine possession in April 2012.

Arnold Black is suing the city of East Cleveland as well as Officer Jonathan O'Leary, Det. Randy Hicks and Police Chief Ralph Spott for false imprisonment, battery, malicious prosecution and civil conspiracy.


According to Black’s suit, he was pulled over by Hicks and O'Leary because the detective, who allegedly “had been drinking and could not safely perform a traffic stop," thought Black’s vehicle was similar to one thought to be carrying drugs.

During the stop, Hicks allegedly told Black, “Since we pulled you over, they're going to see that I pulled over a green truck, and now they're not going to come through my city. I was at a bar with friends. You messed up my night.”

Black was then taken to the East Cleveland Police Station, and “imprisoned in a back room/storage area along with changing/storage lockers” where he remained for at least two days with the most minimal of accommodations. While he was being held, Black was forced to pee in a locker to avoid urinating on his clothes because there was no toilet.


He was eventually charged with possession of cocaine, but the case was dismissed in his favor in July 2012.

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