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Attorney of Lordsburg man that underwent humiliating examination talks to KFOX14 about lawsuit
By: Jamel Valencia
DEMING, N.M. - A Lordsburg man who was allegedly violated of his rights after a traffic stop has filed a federal lawsuit involving the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office, police officers with the city of Deming and medical professionals at the Gila Regional Medical Center over some questionable decisions.
The incident happened in January after David Eckert, 53, allegedly disregarded a stop sign before arriving at the Walmart in Deming, New Mexico.
According to Eckert's attorney, Joe Kennedy, the officer who pulled over Eckert claimed Eckert was clenching his buttocks. A dog, which was not certified according to Kennedy, was brought in to search Eckert's vehicle, no drugs were found.
Kennedy told KFOX14 Wednesday morning that the officer accused of Eckert of hiding narcotics in his anus.
After a search warrant was obtained Eckert underwent three enemas, a colonoscopy, an X-ray and several cavity searches.
The 14-hour series of cavity searches resulted in no drugs found.
Eckert was released from custody, but was later billed $6,000 in medical services by Gila Regional Medical Center.
"This is the most outrageous situation we ever seen of law enforcement in New Mexico," said Kennedy. "I've been practicing law for 20 years and have never seen or heard of this."
The lawsuit was filed against the city of Deming; Deming police officers Bobby Orosco, Robert Chavez and FNU Hernandez; Hidalgo County Sheriff's officers David Arredondo, Robert Rodriguez and Patrick Green; Deputy District attorney Daniel Dougherty; Gila Regional Medical Center; Dr. Robert Wilcox and Dr. Okay H. Odocha.
"The shock to me is the number of agencies and people involved, that not one good person other than Dr. Ash but he couldn't stop it, that stood up and said 'this was wrong'."
The first doctor that saw Eckert declined to conduct the search saying it was "unethical. "
Kennedy says cases similar to this are happening more often on the roadways, especially in Texas.
"The concern is that we've seen this happen too often -- strip searches. It's happening more in Texas as far as stops in roadways and searches of people."