Costly Punch - Colbert Facing Lawsuit

4-13-04 - A cop accused of going too far could end up costing the city of Colbert millions of dollars. An attorney for 68 year old James Murray has filed a claim with the city demanding $3.75 million in compensation after Murray was injured during an arrest last year.

Nine months ago, Officer Richard Wyrick pursued Murray across the Red River into Denison and followed him into a convenience store. Once inside, he spun Murray around and struck him once in the face. Murray fell and broke his hip. The incident was caught on a surveillance tape.

Days later, Wyrick was fired, and now faces federal charges. But Murray’s attorney says the city knew of prior problems with Wyrick, and were negligent by keeping him on the force.

Ed Robertson says Murray deserves compensation for his pain and suffering. Since Murray got out of the hospital, he says he barely leaves his one room hotel apartment because of difficulty walking. The claim is a precursor to a lawsuit - the city has two more weeks to answer it.

Wyrick’s federal criminal trial begins on April 26th. He’s charged with deprivation of rights and falsification of records.