Pennsylvania State Police have settled false arrest and imprisonment claims by a New York man who was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and jailed for 158 days before he was acquitted of the charges because all evidence proved the man was innocent and never should have been arrested in the first place.
The state agreed to pay Ramos $150,000 in compensation for the deprivation of his rights.
On June 16, 2014, while Ramos was passing through Upper Macungie Township on State Route 100. Pennsylvania trooper Justin M. Summa spotted the New York plates on the 2010 Toyota Corolla Ramos was driving and decided to pull him over, reported The Morning Call.
“I smell alcohol,” Trooper Summa falsely said to the out of state driver.
Ramos was honest with the corrupt officer and said he had not been drinking.
“Oh you are from New York,” the trooper responded. “You must have guns or drugs? We know you have drugs, just tell us where they are.”
He said he had none, so the trooper ordered Ramos out of the vehicle so that he could administer a preliminary breath test, the result of which was .00.
Ramos then performed the standard field sobriety tests which prosecutors admitted he “did not have difficulty performing.” Even thought the officer had no evidence or probable cause, Ramos was handcuffed and arrested. The troopers then searched the Corolla, without legitimate cause, and found nothing illegal.
Ramos agreed to a blood draw so that the officers could test his blood for the presence of drugs. A police officer trained as a “drug recognition expert” falsely claimed Ramos might be on depressants, so Lehigh County Magisterial District Judge David M. Howells Jr set bail at $10,000, more than Ramos could pay.
So Ramos waited in his cell for 11 days, and the drug test came back negative. It seems like He would have been released at this point, but police really wanted to cover up their corruption, so Trooper Summa insisted the samples be retested. As expected, they came back negative again.
Ramos was locked up in the Lehigh County Prison while this was happening because Trooper Summa lied to the court, saying the test results were “pending,” according to the lawsuit.
It was not until November 12, 2014, that Judge James T. Anthony found Ramos not guilty of DUI and ordered his release. While he was wrongfully imprisoned, Ramos lost his job and his apartment, leaving him with nothing because of a corrupt police officer who is still on the force and undoubtedly doing the same thing to other people.