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Boise anti-masker says he’ll sue police for $4.5 million over arrest

Crime Watch

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BOISE (AP) — A Boise man who was arrested on a trespassing charge after entering private businesses and refusing to wear a mask has notified local law enforcement agencies that he intends to sue, claiming he was assaulted and falsely imprisoned by the arresting officers.

The Idaho Press reports Peter Alan Hearn, 51, filed the tort claim seeking $4.5 million in damages against officers and attorneys in Boise and Ada County in his Dec. 18 arrest. People who intend to sue government agencies generally must file a tort claim first, giving the government entity three months to respond.

Hearn was part of a group of demonstrators who disrupted several downtown Boise businesses that required face masks by entering the stores while maskless. That day, the Boise Police Department received 19 calls from businesses about the protesters; police issued warrants for those who were identified.

One of the warrants was for Hearn. According to his tort claim, he entered a Costco store on Dec. 18 and refused to wear a mask though the business required it. As he continued to shop at the store, officers arrived and arrested him.

Hearn claims the arrest amounted to kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault, in part because he said his handcuffs were too tight and harmed his wrists.

“The stress caused by the public servants’ unlawful acts, for months now, has caused Peter psychological instability,” Hearn wrote in the tort claim, dated July 28. “Emotionally and financially, Peter Alan Hearn has hit rock bottom.”

When reached by phone on Tuesday, Hearn declined to comment. Boise Public Information Officer Haley Williams said the department does not comment on pending litigation.