A U.S. District Court Judge awards $833,250 for the beating of a motorist at the hands of DEA agents after a 2003 traffic accident in Kansas City, Kansas.
Judge Julie A. Robinson called it a case of “road rage.” Timothy McCue and Barron R. Bowling were both driving down 10th street in Kansas City, Kansas when their two cars collided.
According to witnesses at the civil trial, McCue and two other agents exited the car with weapons drawn and dragged Mr. Bowling from his car. Placed him face down on the pavement (on a 100+degree-day) and handcuffed him. McCue claims to have announced that he was with law enforcement, but witnesses claim to have no recollection of that.
According to witnesses, after being placed in handcuffs, and while still lying on the ground, Mr. Bowling was repeatedly punched in the face by McCue, then after being set up was repeatedly kicked by the federal agent.
During the ordeal, McCue repeatedly called Bowling “white trash” and a “system-dodging inbred hillbilly.” Witnesses said that McCue threatened to kill Bowling and that law enforcement agents "walked" McCue away to calm him down on at least three separate occasions.
McCue claimed that Bowling looked at him smiled and then purposely rammed his car, but Judge Robinson found that McCue’s testimony lacked credibility.
Bowling was arrested and charged with causing the accident and possession of drug paraphernalia (a marijuana pipe). The charges stemming from the accident were dropped, but he was convicted on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia.
To some people, $833,500 may sound like a lot of money, but the Bowling Family is very unhappy with the decision. It is seven years later and Bowling’s injuries still prevent him from holding a job. He suffers from myriad of mental and physical conditions including disabling migraines, hearing loss, problems with balance, nausea, flashbacks, insomnia and one suicide attempt that have been tied to the incident.
According to witnesses McCue was the only one who assaulted the victim, but neither of the other agents did anything to stop him. None of the agents was fired, and Timothy McCue is still employed by the DEA.
"Knowing the mental and physical damage that's been done to my son, he deserved a lot more than that," Bob Bowling, father of the victim, told AOL News. "He's been rather reclusive. It changed his personality, he's not outgoing like he used to be. I'd say he's slightly paranoid, untrusting.”
"His grandfather was an assistant police chief in Alabama, and would roll over in his grave if he knew the agent hadn't been fired, lost his retirement and gone to prison. That's exactly what I think should happen,” concluded the victim’s father.
To make matters worse. According Kansas City Police Detective Max Seifert, and supported by the judge in her ruling, the officer was told by his superiors to cover up for the DEA.
However, Seifert conducted a thorough investigation and consequently “lost his career over the case.” In her decision, the judge wrote, “Seifert was shunned, subjected to gossip and defamation by his police colleagues, and treated as a pariah."
Despite his injuries and what he feels is an inadequate judgment, Bowling is happy that his story has been told.