OTTUMWA — A federal lawsuit against local law enforcement entities and officers has resulted in a $10,000 settlement.
In June, Robert VanDyke filed a federal lawsuit against law enforcement with the Wapello County Sheriff's Office and Ottumwa Police Department. In his initial lawsuit filing, VanDyke levied a dozen counts of various allegations, ranging from violations of constitutional and civil rights, as well as claims of false arrest and assault.
The case was dismissed Wednesday after a settlement agreement was reached, according to court documents. The agreement, obtained Friday by The Courier after an open records request, includes a $10,000 payment from Iowa Communities Assurance Pool. The agreement dictates that the defendants named by VanDyke do not admit to any wrongdoing. The agreement was signed in October.
VanDyke's lawsuit named the city and county, as well as Sheriff Don Phillips, police chief Chad Farrington, three sheriff's deputies and two police officers.
In court documents, VanDyke alleged that officers responded to his address in rural Ottumwa on June 12, 2019, after his son reported a verbal argument between VanDyke and his significant other. VanDyke said officers used unreasonable force during his arrest and ultimate booking into the Wapello County Jail. In court filings, he said he suffered a closed compression fracture of his thoracic vertebra, a closed fracture of a rib on his left side, and a bruise on his right knee.
A simple misdemeanor charge was filed, but it was ultimately dismissed in April.
Due to a data entry error, officers originally charged VanDyke with the consumption of alcohol in a public place but prosecutors later moved to amend the charge to being intoxicated in public. While the court granted their motion, a corrected criminal complaint was not filed. Citing that, and that VanDyke had not been criminally charged again since the incident, prosecutors moved to dismiss the case in the interest of justice.