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Aaron Michael Jones v. Robinson Township Police Department

March 12, 2012

AARON MICHAEL JONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROBINSON TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT, ET AL., RE: ECF NOS. 53, 59, 62, 77 DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly

OPINION & ORDER

KELLY, Magistrate Judge

Plaintiff, Aaron Michael Jones ("Jones" or "Plaintiff"), a state prisoner in the custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, has brought this action against Robinson Township Police Officer Bradley Mermon ("Mermon"), Robinson Township Police Chief Dale Vietmeier ("Vietmeier"), attorney James M. Ecker ("Ecker"), Robinson Township EMS Service ("EMS Service"), and Allegheny General Hopsital ("AGH") (collectively, "Defendants"),*fn1 alleging that he was falsely arrested, kidnapped under false pretenses, and that Defendants violated the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act and the First, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. Jones also brings a claim for medical malpractice. Jones' claims apparently stem from an incident that occurred on April 18, 2010, wherein Jones was the subject of a high speed automobile chase that ended in a collision killing Jones' girlfriend and the driver and passenger of a third party vehicle.

Presently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss submitted by Defendants Mermon and Vietmeier [ECF No. 53]; a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint submitted by EMS Service [ECF No. 59]; a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(e) submitted Defendant Ecker [ECF No. 62]; and a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint Pursuant to F.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) submitted by Defendant AGH [ECF No. 77]. For the reasons that follow, all four Motions will be granted.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Although the Amended Complaint is not a model of clarity, it appears that Jones left a hotel located in Kennedy Township, Pennsylvania, at 12:58 a.m. on April 18, 2010. ECF No. 16 at p. 5. While waiting at a traffic light he observed a black Crown Victoria sedan drive past him and circle around at a slow rate of speed in an effort to see who was in Jones' car. When the light changed, the black Crown Victoria came up behind Jones causing him to become suspicious that he was being followed. Id. Jones consequently pulled into a gas service station and waited for an officer to approach. When nothing happened, Jones asked his passenger what the individual was doing and she replied that the individual had a gun aimed at them. Id. Jones then "immediately pulled off" and, although not expressly stated in the Amended Complaint, it appears that a chase ensued which ended in a deadly collision. Id. Jones complains that Mermon, who was apparently driving the black Crown Victoria, "was not performing a traffic stop," "did not use a siren," "didn't allow [Jones] to slow down to stop once [Mermon] chased [him]," [knew] exactly who [he] was before the chase" contrary to Mermon's statement, and threatened his safety as well as that of the public. Id. at pp. 5-6.

With respect to Defendant Vietmeier, Jones alleges that Vietmeier made a "false public statement" against him "to clear his department of wrongdoing of following a suspect within city limits endangering the public." Id. at p. 6. Jones also claims that the Robinson Police Department knew he was driving the car "and did not alert the U.S. Marshal Service and endangered the public. Causing two deaths." Id.

In addition, Jones alleges that on April 18, 2010, Defendant Ecker was hired to represent him on the pending charge "thought to be vehicular homicide." Id. at p. 12. In October of 2010, having failed to hear from Ecker, Jones' father contacted Ecker and was told that Ecker had nothing to report on the case, that it was still pending and that the prosecutor had not yet filed charges. Ecker then informed Jones in December of 2010 that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had, in fact, filed vehicular homicide charges against him. Id. Jones alleges that Ecker told Jones' father that he had a "working relationship with the prosecutor." Id.

The remainder of Jones' allegation as they pertain to Mr. Ecker are unclear. He states that if it was true that Ecker had a working relationship with the prosecutor that "he should know that the filing date of July 28, 2010 is a lie and is false." Id. Jones also appears to suggest that he was schedule for a preliminary hearing on January 14, 2011, without having been arraigned first, and that Ecker did not know what Jones had been charged with when they appeared for the hearing. He then states that "the state learned of their mistake" and he was taken to be arraigned. Id. at pp. 12-13. Jones also states that: there was no test or toxicology report done. So then out of nowhere the state postpones the preliminary hearing to get a almost 9 month old test results. . . . the DUI charges were dropped by a so called deal by Mr. Ecker but I asked to see my discovery packet in which I believe it would've shown I was given the hospital drugs that were supposed to be in my system.

Id. at p. 13. Jones concludes that "Ecker was working against [him] giving the State tips helping them which makes him ineffective counsel at the very least." Jones contends that Ecker had a "gross intent" to injure him and his family and that Ecker took his family's money fraudulently. Id.

Jones also contends that AGH violated federal law by telling his family to come visit him while he was in the hospital but then told them that Jones could not have visitors. Id. at p. 14.

Jones alleges that he was given pain killers for his injuries while at AGH but that his medical records do not reflect that or the fact that he suffered an injury. This, coupled with Jones' contention that he was not given proper medical care for his broken wrist, allegedly caused Jones "unnecessary charges and jail injury." Id.

Jones also maintains in the Amended Complaint that he repeatedly asked the EMS Service team that arrived at the scene of the accident to attend to his girlfriend first but was told it had to clear the scene and that it was concerned that Jones was armed. Id. Notwithstanding that Jones allegedly told the team that he was not armed and cuffed himself with a pair of his own handcuffs, the EMS team pulled Jones out of the wreck first and his girlfriend subsequently died. Id.

Jones initiated this action on March 21, 2011, by filing a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. ECF No. 1. The Complaint was filed on April 6, 2011, ECF No. 5, and on April 26, 2011, Jones filed an Amended Complaint, ECF No. 16, in which he named ten defendants. All but five of those Defendants have previously been dismissed from the case. ...


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