Molly English-Bowers Mar. 25, 2016, 6:33pm


NEW ORLEANS – A St. Bernard Parish woman is suing over her allegedly wrongful arrest.

Ashley Imbraguglio filed the suit March 24 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans Division against Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard and John Doe, an officer whose name is unknown.

On March 25, 2015, the suit states that the plaintiff was shopping at a private retailer. The loss prevention agent for the store allegedly approached her and asked her to follow him into his office. He accused her of shoplifting, which she denied, but he persisted in his accusations and he wouldn't let her leave his office, according to the complaint.

The agent called the police and defendant John Doe arrested the plaintiff. The plaintiff presented evidence to the Livingston District Attorney's Office that she was not the individual wanted for shoplifting and the charges against her were dismissed.

The suit states that the defendants had that evidence available to them but they arrested the plaintiff anyway. The counts against the defendants include violations of the U.S. Constitution, specifically that individuals are free from searches and seizures and arrest warrants that aren't supported by reasonable suspicion or probable cause; failure by defendant Ard to train defendant Doe; and defamation of character.

As a result of her arrest and the publication of her name for a crime she didn't commit, the plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress, according to the complaint.

The plaintiff seeks a trial by jury; compensatory, general and punitive damages; attorney fees and court costs; and other relief the court deems proper. She is represented by David W. Gernhauser Jr. in Chalmette.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans Division Case number 16-cv-2470

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