Kentucky Man Banished to Florida Sues Police, Alleges Harrowing Ordeal

Adam Horine is escorted from jail by Officer Ron Dickow in this image from jail surveillance video.

Adam Horine is escorted from jail by Officer Ron Dickow in this image from jail surveillance video.

The Carrollton man wrongly removed from jail by police, then driven to Louisville and banished to Florida earlier this year, is suing them for his ordeal.

Carrollton police had been ordered by a judge to transport Adam Horine, who has a history of mental illness, to a state hospital for treatment. Instead, Horine landed in Florida, and Carrollton’s police chief and one of his officers ended up under indictment.

Horine’s banishment on April 23 was “extreme and outrageous, beyond all possible bounds of decency and utterly intolerable in a free society,” asserts the lawsuit filed Thursday in Jefferson circuit court.

After taking Horine out of the Carroll County Detention Center around 3 a.m., Officer Ron Dickow brought him to Louisville and bought him a one-way bus ticket to Florida with money provided by Police Chief Michael Willhoite, the complaint claims.

Carroll County

Wikimedia Commons

Carroll County

The suit, which names Dickow, Willhoite and the city of Carrollton as defendants, contends that Dickow put Horine on the bus without his prescribed medications, and that Horine experienced “psychotic episodes” during the trip, urinated on himself and was “forced to catheterize himself.”

Both officers were indicted in August on felony charges of complicity to commit kidnapping and custodial interference, as well as official misconduct, a misdemeanor. They have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to stand trial on Feb. 2.

Willhoite and Dickow did not respond to requests for comment on the suit. Carrollton City Attorney Amy Eversole declined to comment.

Horine’s banishment received nationwide attention after it was revealed in May by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. (Read “Kentucky Justice? Kicked Out of the Commonwealth”)

Dickow’s actions to spring the 31-year-old Horine from jail and get him out of the state were orchestrated by Willhoite, according to the lawsuit. In so doing, the veteran officers contravened an order issued the previous day by District Judge Elizabeth Chandler, directing police to immediately transfer Horine to Eastern State Hospital in Lexington for psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

Horine, who had been jailed on two misdemeanor charges, acknowledged to Chandler in court that he suffered from emotional problems, resulting in her order for his hospitalization.

In addition to recounting basic events surrounding Horine’s banishment, the lawsuit also describes several previously undisclosed details of his troubled journey to Florida and his ordeal there.

According to the suit, Horine was hospitalized in Knoxville, Tennessee, during the trip, and again for about a week once he arrived in Florida.

Upon learning that Horine was in Florida and not at Eastern State, Chandler issued a second order, on April 24, directing that he be taken to the hospital in Lexington. To get Horine back to Kentucky, authorities obtained an arrest warrant in connection with his supposed escape from jail in Carroll County.

He was then taken into custody in Gulfport and taken to the Pinellas County Jail. While there, according to the suit, Horine was stripped nude, placed in solitary confinement for approximately three weeks and repeatedly pepper-sprayed.

The lawsuit asserts that Willhoite and Dickow were indifferent to Horine’s “life, health and safety.” It seeks unspecified damages.

In addition to their pending criminal cases, Willhoite and Dickow have been ordered by Circuit Judge Patricia Summe not to perform law-enforcement functions or be involved with police-related paperwork until their charges are resolved.

Reporter R.G. Dunlop can be reached at rdunlop@kycir.org or (502) 814.6533.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *