Track champ injured in false arrest, forced to miss football season at NIU: suit

SHARE Track champ injured in false arrest, forced to miss football season at NIU: suit

NIU football player Jyran Mitchell of Matteson | Twitter

A high school football and track star claims two Illinois state police officers and a Matteson cop allegedly injured his knee during a false arrest earlier this year — causing him to miss out on defending his state track title and sit out his freshmen football season at Northern Illinois University.

Jyran Mitchell, a state champion relay runner and 4.0 student at Rich Central High School, filed a lawsuit Tuesday inCook County Circuit Court that says officers took him into custody by “violently and unnecessarily assaulting him” and contends the officers fabricated police reports and omitted key facts of the incident.

On Feb. 2, the officers went to Mitchell’s family’s home in Matteson claiming someone in a 2013 Jaguar fled a traffic stop by Illinois State Police. A Chevrolet Malibu was the only car in the driveway, and his grandmother told police that Mitchell’s brother — who police had asked for — wasn’t home, the suit says. An officer allegedly pointed at Mitchell and said:“You don’t know what your grandson did. … You think he’s an angel, he just ran from the police.”

When Mitchell tried to assist his grandmother, he was handcuffed and Matteson Police Officer Dominic Bates allegedly kicked Mitchell on the side of his knee, causing it to buckle, the suit says. Mitchell was later released.

During the incident, Mitchell tore a meniscus in his knee, the suit says, requiring surgery.

Mitchell missed the final two months of the basketball season and the entire track and field season. He was unable to help defend the school’s 2A state title in the 4 x 100 relay he helped win the year before and had to redshirt his freshman season at NIU, where he had been awarded a scholarship to play football.

Jyran Mitchell | NIU Athletics

Jyran Mitchell | NIU Athletics

The lawsuit states that Mitchell suffered “humiliation, loss of liberty, impairment of future employment, mental anguish, and emotional distress and damage,” among other damages.It seeks “a fair and reasonable amount” in compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney’s fees and costs.

The lawsuit names the village of Matteson and Bates. Two Illinois State Police troopers are also named in the suit.

Matteson police and state police could not immediately be reached for comment.

Donna Boughton, an official in NIU’s athletic department, said“the incident took place before Jyran enrolled at the university and is a personal matter. We are referring all comment to the family and attorneys.”

Neither Mitchell nor his attorney, Melvin L. Brooks, were available for comment.

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