LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – Shortly after he was pulled over by a Kentucky State Police trooper on Sept. 16 near his home in eastern Kentucky last year, David Gabbard said he wrote a Facebook post sharing his anger at what he felt was an illegal stop.
“Just love being pulled over for no reason lmao. #maybenexttime. #policeharasment (sic),” the post read.
The next day, Gabbard claims in a federal lawsuit, the trooper that pulled him over, Scott Townsley, and two others showed up at his Jackson County home he shared with Diana Muncy, approaching from the front and the perimeter.
When Gabbard went out to see why they were there, Muncy began recording on her phone.
“I did not harass you yesterday,” Townsley can be heard saying on the recording, according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in London, Ky. “I don’t care if everybody knew what you meant. I knew what you meant … that’s the only thing. I knew what you meant.”
The recording is not available in the court file. Lexington attorney James O’Toole, who represents the plaintiffs, did not immediately return a phone message.
The lawsuit claims another trooper then took Muncy’s phone and turned it off and “things escalated quickly,” with Townsley slapping and pushing Gabbard, kicking his dog and trying to incite a fight.
When Gabbard said he did not want to fight with police, Townsley removed his badge and gun and offered to fight as a regular citizen, according to the suit.
Muncy called 911 but the dispatcher would not send help because “the police were already present,” according to the suit. A transcript of the 911 call is included in the lawsuit.
The 911 transcript says “the supervisor of state police is taking care of this complaint.’
At that point, according to the suit, a trooper noticed video cameras at the front of the home and showed Townsley. The troopers then left.
“The only plausible explanation for the Troopers’ presence at the Plaintiff’s home was that the Troopers wanted to deliver a message through intimidation, terror and battery,” according to the suit.
The suit is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial. It names Townsley and Troopers Joshua Roaden and Brandon Scalf.
A spokesman for KSP did not immediately return a message. Attorney David Hoskins, who represents the troopers, said it was too early in the case to comment.
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