Arrest lawsuit settled for $300K
WOODSTOCK – A $300,000 settlement has been reached between several McHenry County sheriff’s deputies and a former Crystal Lake couple who were injured after the arrest of their son.
McHenry County Deputy Administrator John Labaj said taxpayers are responsible for one-third of the money – a $100,000 self-insured retention, which is like an insurance deductible.
The lawsuit filed in federal court stemmed from a 2008 incident in which deputies were serving an arrest warrant for Carl Pavlin after a domestic disturbance with his wife. He is the son of Jerome and Carla Pavlin.
The Pavlins’ attorney, Louis Meyer, said Carl Pavlin cracked the door at his parents’ home, then shut it. Deputies broke in the door and arrested him, but didn’t leave, Meyer said.
“What they should have done, and they had time to do, was get a search warrant,” he said.
Jerome Pavlin, then 80, protested and was thrown to the ground by a deputy, handcuffed tightly and dragged to the squad car, Meyer said.
He said Carla Pavlin, then 65, began to pull on a deputy’s vest, and he struck her in the chest. She hit her back on a granite countertop and as a result was hospitalized for several days and immobilized for several weeks. She also suffered from psychological issues, such as post-traumatic stress, Meyer said. “She had a fear of an officer coming back and taking her husband.”
The couple since has moved to Georgia.
“One of the reasons was Carla didn’t feel comfortable in the house anymore,” Meyer said.
Sheriff Keith Nygren disagrees with Meyer’s account. He said Jerome Pavlin spit on a deputy and Carla Pavlin jumped on a deputy’s back or at least leaned into him.
“They were arrested for that, as they should be,” Nygren said.
The Pavlins faced felony charges, but the cases against them were dismissed with prejudice.
Nygren said he had no part in the decision to settle the lawsuit. It was the insurance company’s decision, he said.
“Our officers did nothing wrong. Our people did the right thing, and I support them 100 percent,” Nygren said.
In November, a federal judge ruled that the deputies unlawfully entered the house.
According to the terms of the settlement, Jerome Pavlin will receive $100,000 and Carla Pavlin will receive $200,000.
“A lot of it wasn’t really that much about the money to them,” Meyer said. “They wanted to show what happened to them was illegal.”
Sheriff’s office employees named in the lawsuit included Jeremy Bruketta, Kyle Mandernack, Trevor Vogel, Christopher Jones, Ryan Lambert, Greg Pyle and David Shepherd.