An 81-year-old Vinalhaven woman has accused a former Rockland police officer of “manhandling” during an arrest last year.
The former officer, Micheal Rolerson, was one of two Rockland police officers who were fired last year after they beat several porcupines to death with their batons while on duty.
Rolerson, the city and the Rockland Police Department are now facing a potential lawsuit for injuries the then-80-year-old Glennis Lane received during an arrest by Rolerson in May 2020.
Lane was arrested on May 21, 2020, following an encounter with Rolerson outside her son’s Rankin Street apartment complex. When she arrived at the complex she noticed her son’s truck — which was legally in her name, according to her attorney Gregory Snow — was not parked in its assigned spot. A Rockland police cruiser was parked behind it.
Rolerson told Lane that her son had been arrested for allegedly driving without a license, according to Snow. Lane then offered to drive her son’s car to his assigned parking space, about 100 feet away, but Rolerson told her the vehicle was being towed.
Lane tried to move the truck anyway, but Rolerson allegedly dragged her out of it, Snow said. During the altercation, Snow said Lane was badly manhandled by Rolerson.
Rolerson double handcuffed Lane and arrested her on charges of assault and refusing to submit to arrest, according to an intent to sue notice Snow sent to the city.
Lane was taken to Knox County Jail before being transferred to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, where she was treated for bruises. Snow said Lane has also suffered mentally from the encounter.
The charges were later dismissed due to insufficient evidence, Snow said in the intent to sue.
Snow was the attorney assigned to defend Lane following her arrest. When he was first assigned the case, he thought the charges were “outrageous.”
In April, Snow sent a notice to the city of Rockland indicating that he intended to file a lawsuit against the city, the police department and Rolerson in regards to the May 2020 incident. Snow is seeking $150,000 in damages for his client.
Under state law, when someone intends to sue a government entity they must file a notice several months prior to filing the lawsuit. Snow said the city has until Thursday to respond to the claim. However he has not gotten a response. If he does not hear back from the city, he said he intends to file a lawsuit in court either this week or next.
Rockland City Manager Tom Luttrell confirmed Tuesday that the city has received the notice. However, he provided no further comment.
Rolerson and 28-year-old Addison Cox of Warren were fired in September 2020. Last month, Rolerson was sentenced to 270 days in jail, with all but 20 days suspended for charges of animal cruelty and night hunting. Cox was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with all but 10 suspended. Both were fined $1,000.
Rolerson is expected to begin his sentence in January.