Fostoria partly dismissed from illegal search warrant lawsuit

The city of Fostoria has been partly dismissed from a federal lawsuit seeking more than $79 million for an alleged illegal search warrant in 2012.

According to U.S. District Court documents, the city of Fostoria, the Fostoria Police Department and five Fostoria police officers were partly dismissed from the lawsuit after a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim was filed by the defendants and granted.

A motion filed by the defendants to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims of assault and battery, infliction of emotional distress, and conspiracy against Fostoria, the police department and the officers, however, was denied. The court documents were filed Thursday in district court.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Fostoria residents Ernesto Gonzales, Angelica Hernandez and a minor, claim law enforcement officials obtained an illegal search warrant to search their East North Street residence in April 2012. Other defendants in the case include four law enforcement officials from Seneca County and the Tiffin Police Department.

During the execution of the search warrant, law enforcement officials set off explosive devices outside of the residence and then entered it without notifying the residents they were law enforcement, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit also claims an officer attempted to shoot Gonzales and the 3-year-old child in his arms and that the family’s dog was shot and killed. According to A-T reports, law enforcement had shot the dog after it aggressively approached officers.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are alleging the police held them at gunpoint while the search warrant was conducted and tried to cover up what they had done by disposing of most of the shell casings left at the residence.

The lawsuit is claiming 4th and 14th Amendment violations, and cruel and unusual punishment, an 8th Amendment violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The action also is claiming emotional distress and a state tort claim of assault and battery.

According to a release issued by the Seneca County Drug Task Force METRICH Enforcement Unit, following the drug-related search warrant, marijuana, money, criminal tools, drug paraphernalia and a substantial amount of ammunition were found at the residence.