Troutdale's Andy Gainer said he was wrongfully arrested

A Troutdale resident is suing the city of Troutdale, Police Chief Scott Anderson and at least three Troutdale police officers, alleging he was falsely arrested and ultimately jailed for 21 days before all charges were dropped.

Andy Gainer, the former owner of the Shaken Martini Lounge, is seeking $2 million in damages in a lawsuit he filed Aug. 21 in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Gainer asserts that he is the victim of defamation, false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, assault, battery and negligence.

Efforts to reach Gainer or his attorney for comments were unsuccessful on Monday; however, court documents filed by Gainer’s attorney, Montgomery W. Cobb, provided a detailed account of Gainer’s side of the story.

Troutdale City Manager Craig Ward said the city is aware of the lawsuit, as is Police Chief Anderson, the city’s attorney and the city’s insurer.

Ward had little response except to say he wasn’t surprised to the see that the suit had been filed.

“I think it will be up to the court to determine the merits of the case,” Ward said.

Readers may recall Gainer was active in the campaign to defeat former Troutdale Mayor Jim Kight and he’s the man who filed a state ethics complaint against Kight.

Gainer’s lawsuit involves an incident that allegedly occurred on Aug. 19, 2013. According to the lawsuit, Gainer was walking home from the Brass Rail Tavern in Troutdale when he was confronted by two men and a woman, who Gainer said “blocked his way, pushed, shoved and hit him and chased him” when he tried to get away. Gainer lives less than two blocks from the pub.

The lawsuit claims Gainer, in defense, allegedly swung and hit one of the men. Gainer says he then tripped and fell, and was repeatedly kicked by one of the assailants while he was lying on the ground.

The lawsuit goes on to say Gainer called 911 for help. Gainer eventually walked home. Two Troutdale police officers responded to his home and offered assistance, but Gainer told the police the incident was over, and they left.

The Outlook has requested copies of the Troutdale police report regarding this incident. The Outlook also has requested copies of the 911 call from Aug. 19, 2013.

The lawsuit claims that two days after the alleged assault, two of the three alleged attackers went to the Troutdale Police station and spoke with Officer Nick Bohrer, accusing Gainer of assault, saying he broke the jaw of the man he hit.

A third person involved in the incident gave his story — which he later retracted — to Officer Nicholas Thompson. The lawsuit claims this story differed from the story given by his cohort, and that Troutdale Police “failed to investigate the false report,” despite the discrepancies in facts.

Gainer is accusing the Troutdale Police of failing to investigate why the man and woman waited two days to report the incident and failed to consider that both people had prior arrest records. Among other things, the lawsuit says police failed to take into account that Gainer called 911 on Aug. 19 and then subsequently visited his home.

“The Troutdale Police did nothing to confirm the facts stated by Andy Gainer,” the lawsuit states.

Nor did police interview “several other witnesses who were present during the incident,” or review video footage from Brass Rail’s security camera, the lawsuit said.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. Aug. 22, 2013, officers Nick Bohrer and Tim Fujii, along with a third unnamed officer who Gainer said was present at the time of arrest, surrounded his home and banged on the door until he woke up and answered. Gainer’s girlfriend, Wendy, and his 13-year-old daughter were at the home.

The police announced who they were and that they were armed, according to the lawsuit.

Gainer was handcuffed, searched and placed in the back seat of a patrol car. He was then taken to the Troutdale Police Station where he was read a “Miranda-type warning,” and accused of Assault II and an Oregon Measure 11 crime.

While in the back seat of the patrol car, Gainer says in the lawsuit, he tried to explain to the officers that he was the victim of the assault, and not the assailant, and that he had acted in self-defense.

Gainer offered to show the officers his cell phone that contained evidence supporting his claim, including a phone call log showing Gainer had dialed 911 at the time of the assault. Gainer, also allegedly showed the officers swelling and bruises on his head, ribs and arms that he suffered in the assault. Gainer claims police refused to look at his phone.

The lawsuit also accuses officers of omitting evidence supporting Gainer’s claim of self-defense when they spoke to the District Attorney, which initially caused the DA to seek an indictment.

Following his arrest, Gainer was held for 21 days in the Multnomah County Jail. His bail was set at $250,000, and Gainer was billed approximately $32,000 in legals costs and fees to get the case dismissed. He also spent 131 days under supervision while on bail release.

Six months after the initial arrest, on Jan. 13 the District Attorney dismissed the assault charge against Gainer. The lawsuit claims the dismissal was based on the same evidence that Gainer had tried to provide Troutdale Police officers the day he was arrested.

“But for the unlawful arrest, wrongful imprisonment, deliberate disregard of favorable evidence, failure to conduct an investigation into the complainants’ inconsistent stories and the malicious prosecution by Defendants, the assault case against Andy Gainer would not have been prosecuted,” the lawsuit stated.

In the lawsuit, Gainer says he suffered damages, including injury to his business and personal reputation.

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