HOLLAND -- Holland police chief Howard Sprague and the city of Holland are named in a lawsuit filed in 146th judicial district court by a Holland man claiming the chief and the city violated his son's civil rights.
Frank Rodriguez of Holland is asking the court for unspecified damages, attorneys' fees and expenses from the city.
The suit will be heard in Waco's federal court on June 4 at 9 a.m. in Judge Walter Smith's courtroom in Waco, according Mark R. Lee, Rodriguez's attorney. The case will be heard in federal court because the suit involves a civil rights issue, Lee said.
According to the suit, Frank Rodriguez's juvenile son was handled roughly by chief Sprague at a football game in November 1998. Rodriguez filed a complaint against Sprague in the mayor's office. Rodriguez contends in the suit that on the morning he was to meet with the mayor he was harassed and threatened with arrest by Sprague.
Sprague presented Rodriguez with an arrest warrant "for interference with the duties of public servant." The charge was dismissed in July 1999.
Rodriguez's suit alleges that Sprague "continued to harass him after the charges were dismissed, by following him on several occasions, and misusing his authority to make inquires unrelated to any alleged criminal conduct."
The suit contends that Sprague has a history of such actions and that City of Holland "has an official policy or practice of allowing such behavior."