Victim of fake 911 call sues City of Toledo for failing to pay damages at his home

Victim of fake 911 call sues City of Toledo for failing to pay damages at his home
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The City of Toledo and more than 20 police officers are being sued by a man cleared of criminal wrongdoing, after a raid at his home in 2015. Police swarmed Donald McGranahan's home on Gage Street, but it was determined he was a victim of a fake 911 call.

The civil suit was filed Tuesday morning by Jerry Phillips, McGranahan's lawyer; It claims the city failed to pay for damages at his home and caused him emotional distress.

Last Labor Day, police and SWAT members converged on McGranahan's home, after a 911 call had been made, saying there was a dangerous situation going on. The Army veteran initially refused to come out and was eventually charged with inciting panic and obstructing official business.

The charges were later dropped after police learned the call was fake, and that McGranahan was a victim of what's called swatting. Some of his weapons were confiscated during the incident.

McGranahan wants the city to pay for the damage done to his home during the raid.

"Holes in the walls, there was a broken door, door frame. Some windows were broken. Two safes that he had. A personal safe and a gun safe were both broken into and destroyed," said Phillips.

Phillips says the city had agreed to pay $4,190 for the damage to the home and additional money for property seized at the house, including McGranahan's guns. Some of that property was destroyed at the TPD property room.

The civil suit names 22 officers, four of which were only named either John or Mary Doe, who went into the home or worked in the property room. It
demands a judgment of $25,000 in compensatory damages and another $25,000 in punitive damages.

"I would say that it's a pretty sad state of affairs when you treat a veteran in this manner, treat anybody in this manner, any citizen of the city in this manner," said Phillips.

The lawsuit also claims McGranahan was caused emotional distress by police conduct that "was so outrageous that it intentionally and/or negligently inflicted emotional distress" and conduct that "goes beyond all decency."

Adam Loukx, law director for the City of Toledo, says the city did agree to pay McGranahan for damages to the home but the city hasn't paid yet, because both sides can't agree on a fair amount for the damaged items.

Loukx says McGranahan must provide proof of what was destroyed and its value. He says the city will diligently defend itself against the lawsuit.

"The settlement numbers have become a moving target. I can't just pay money every time somebody says it's broken. The city would go broke," said Jeffrey Charles, City of Toledo's chief of litigation.

The city has 28 days to officially respond to the suit or a settlement could be reached.
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