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Man makes claim against county for unlawful stop by deputy

A Grays Harbor man is seeking up to $1 million in damages after he says a Grays Harbor Sheriff’s deputy inappropriately stopped his vehicle and he was able to get the stop and related charges thrown out by the court.

A damage claim was submitted recently against Grays Harbor County and a legal complaint has already been filed in Thurston County Superior Court.

Rian Keith says in the complaint he was with a couple of friend driving west on Monte-Elma Road when a deputy’s car did a U-turn in the street, flipped on his lights and pursued Keith.

Keith was driving with a suspended license and was arrested. The deputy accused Keith of not using his “blinker” and was issued a citation.

“As Keith knew that he had used his blinker, Keith decided to contest the charges at a hearing,” the legal complaint states.

At a contested hearing, Keith’s public defender obtained a copy of the “dash cam” video and was able to show that Keith was using a blinker and, thus, the deputy had no probable cause to stop him. Without a valid reason to pull Keith over, the suspended license charge was dropped — even though Keith really was driving without a suspended license.

Keith’s attorney Chris Crew of Elma the lawsuit alleging “wrongful arrest, wrongful detainment, false imprisonment and negligence.”

The lawsuit also alleges assault because the deputy “used the threat of force to compel Keith to comply” with the deputy’s demands.

The lawsuit says that Keith’s farm “was not able to be watered causing a loss of business” during his arrest.