Teen files a lawsuit after traffic stop gone wrong


LAUREL, Del. – Roger Warner filed a lawsuit against the town of Laurel and two police officers after a 2019 traffic stop led to an arrest and a concussion.

“RJ’s is a very compelling case. I mean this never should have happened,” says council plaintiff and Warner’s lawyer, Robin Cockey.

Two years ago Warner, also known as RJ, was allegedly pulled over for speeding. What started as a simple traffic stop ended with RJ reportedly in the hospital with a concussion and multiple bruises on his face.

Now, RJ and his mother want justice for the wrong-doing they say police handed them. “We tried to resolve his dispute with the town out of court, and that attempt failed,” says Cockey.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that Laurel police officer David Marvel allegedly found that RJ’s license was suspended due to a tinted windows violation. RJ says he told the officer the ticket had already been paid but there was some mix-up with the town. Officer Marvel allegedly told him to drive straight home and figure out the problem.

The lawsuit alleges that that Officer Marvel reported that RJ refused to confirm that he understood the officer’s instructions to drive straight home.

However, things quickly escalated. Instead of driving home, RJ instead was allegedly pulled out of his car, thrown on the ground, hitting his head in the process before being held down by two officers. RJ’s attorney says those actions are unacceptable. “The community should be rallying around somebody like RJ and not beating them to the ground and giving them a concussion,” said Cockey.

RJ was arrested, and when his mom showed up at the police station she says he was covered in blood. The lawsuit states both policemen involved in this incident acted “intentionally under the color of law to deprive Mr. Warner of his rights.”

RJ’s lawyers say he is “a good kid” who lost his father at a young age, and grew up with a single mom. He had no prior history of violence. “That’s implausible, it didn’t happen this case never should have happened it’s ridiculous we have to file suit in federal court to address this but here we are,” said Cockey.

47ABC did reach out to the town of Laurel. The town said they would not comment on pending litigation. 47ABC also reached out to Laurel Police Department and they did not immediately respond. The investigation is ongoing.

Categories: Delaware, Local News