A man from Meadville, Pennsylvania has revealed that he is still struggling with nightmares after he was wrongfully mistaken by police as a suspect and injected with antipsychotic medication. Six months ago, Eugene Wright, 63, was approached outside his home by police and a representative from a hospital, WPXI reported.
"They explained to me earlier that day at 10 AM I was at an orthopedic office threatening people. I was at work," Wright said, reflecting on what would become a horrible day. He said that the police never checked his identity, but brought him to the Meadville Medical Center anyway.
En route to the psychiatric hospital, Wright maintained that he never threatened anyone and that they must have the wrong person. One of the officers allegedly responded, “We have the right person,” according to The Washington Post.
"I was powerless. I had no control of what was going on down there," said Wright, who filed a federal lawsuit against police and health workers on Wednesday. According to that lawsuit, Wright was injected with the antipsychotic medication Haldol and Ativan, an anti-anxiety medicine, against his will by a nurse. The result of the injections was a drug-induced blackout, which lasted for a good portion of the day.
“The experience that I went through, this should never happen to anybody. It’s very simple to check ID,” Wright told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, adding that the police and the staff ignored him when he offered to show them his driver’s license. “These people need to be held responsible.”
According to WPXI, when the doctors realized that they, in fact, did make a mistake, they allegedly tried to make up for it by offering Wright a $50 gift card to a local steakhouse. Later, they allegedly offered him a $25 gift card to Walmart.
Police have reportedly apologized for their actions, but Wright’s lawsuit claims that his constitutional rights have been violated. According to The Washington Post, the lawsuit claims Wright "can’t sleep, doesn’t feel comfortable being left alone in his home, and has had such trouble eating that he has lost 40 pounds in the six months since his arrest."
Both police and relevant health officials have not yet commented on the lawsuit.