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Garth_FANtasizer
08-31-2000, 08:25 AM
Singers' tone indicates suit in horse flap
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<br>By DAN HERBECK
<br>News Staff Reporter
<br>8/30/00
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<br>Country singers Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney may soon be adding a new number to their repertoire: "I Sued the Sheriff."
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<br>The two singers filed court papers Tuesday threatening a lawsuit against the Erie County Sheriff's Department in connection with a June fracas during a country music festival at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
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<br>McGraw and Chesney accuse deputies of false arrest, unlawful imprisonment, assault and other wrongdoing in an incident that led to the arrests of the singers and a road manager on June 3.
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<br>A Buffalo attorney for the singers said papers were filed in preparation for a possible State Supreme Court lawsuit. The court papers contend that the singers are suffering from "severe, permanent and painful injuries" - both physical and psychological - as a result of the confrontation that erupted after Chesney began to ride a horse from the sheriff's Mounted Division in a backstage area of the stadium.
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<br>McGraw and Chesney contend that their arrests by deputies that night caused damage to their reputations and their business.
<br>"The basis of the claim . . . is for false arrest, malicious prosecution, unlawful imprisonment, use of excessive force, assault, negligence, recklessness, carelessness, libel, slander and constitutional rights violation," the singers and the road manager, Mark Russo, said in court papers.
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<br>In an unusual case that has attracted national publicity, the two singers and Russo are scheduled to face trial in December in Orchard Park Town Court.
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<br>"What we filed (Tuesday) was not a lawsuit. It was a notice of claim against Erie County, which eventually could lead to a lawsuit," said the attorney, Thomas J. Eoannou.
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<br>"We have spoken to a significant number of witnesses who were there that night, and who saw the whole confrontation in a much different light than the way it has been portrayed by the sheriff."
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<br>Eoannou said that he hopes that a lawsuit against the county will not be necessary but that his Nashville, Tenn., clients are ready to pursue one if the county continues to prosecute them criminally.
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<br>Sheriff Patrick M. Gallivan called the singers' allegations "ridiculous" and said he looks forward to all the facts of the case coming out at a criminal trial in December.
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<br>"It's a common defense tactic: When someone is arrested, try to deflect attention from the real issues at hand by filing a lawsuit against the police," Gallivan said.
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<br>The two singers and Russo, residents of Nashville, were arrested after Chesney began riding the Mounted Division horse around the backstage area. A scuffle ensued after two deputies ordered Chesney to stop the horse and dismount.
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<br>Chesney contends that he received permission to ride the horse, an assertion that the Sheriff's Department denies. Deputies contend that McGraw was the aggressor in the dispute, while the singers say the deputies were unnecessarily rough.
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<br>McGraw faces a misdemeanor assault charge - reduced from a felony - in addition to charges of obstructing governmental administration, menacing and resisting arrest. Chesney is charged with disorderly conduct, and Russo with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.
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<br>Attorneys for McGraw, Chesney and Russo have insisted from the beginning that all charges be dismissed. Other than reducing McGraw's assault charge, District Attorney Frank J. Clark - the prosecutor in the case - has refused.
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<br>News of the potential lawsuit produced an angry reaction from Clark. He said he is tired of hearing people on both sides of the case making pronouncements, and is glad that the issues will ultimately be decided in a criminal trial.
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<br>"This case is going to trial; that's all there is to it," Clark said. "I don't care how many people threaten multimillion-dollar lawsuits. I don't care who goes on the Jay Leno show. I don't care who calls the Sandy Beach show to make idiotic statements about it. There will be no plea deals, no charges dropped. The case will go to trial, and the courts will decide."
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<br>Since the incident, McGraw and Chesney have been poking fun at the Sheriff's Department in concerts and on television shows, and McGraw's Web site has portrayed Gallivan as a bumbling publicity hound.
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<br>The jokes are no laughing matter to members of the Sheriff's Department, however.
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<br>"Their jokes are an insult to all our deputies, and to the law-abiding people of Erie County," Gallivan said. "I don't care how wealthy or famous you are; there's no justification for attacking law enforcement officers when they're doing their jobs.
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<br>"All this started with two deputies doing their jobs, and Tim McGraw interfering by jumping on the back of a uniformed deputy. Two deputies were injured. One of them just went off-duty last week for rotator-cuff surgery. He'll be off for three months."
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<br>~Ann~N

Pilgrim
08-31-2000, 02:57 PM
Thanks for sharing:)
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"We have spoken to a significant number of witnesses who were there that night, and who saw the whole confrontation in a much different light than the way it has been portrayed by the sheriff."
<br>Well, big stars, big wallets:(:(
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<br>BrianN

Cheryl
08-31-2000, 05:01 PM
ROFLMAO!!!! Geez, somebody should tell Kenny if he's gonna file such stuff claiming that it hurt his reputation and career, that he shouldn't make such statements as "it certainly hasn't hurt" and "there's no such thing as bad publicity". :rolleyes: I just read an article the other day where he said those very things....I'm gonna see if I can find it....N

Cheryl
08-31-2000, 05:17 PM
I'm still looking for the one that Kenny made those remarks, but I came across this at www.tennessean.com by Brad Schmitt:
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If business is hurting, I wanna hurt -- bad
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<br> Brad-itorial: Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney (pictured at left) are making some TOTALLY AMAZING claims in a legal notice filed in New York. The two say in this notice that they might sue the Erie County Sheriff's Office after the fracas in June in a stadium outside Buffalo, N.Y.
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<br>Why? The two claim they suffered "severe, permanent and painful injuries" in the fracas, and they say their reputations and careers suffered afterward.
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<br>Really? "Severe, permanent" injuries? Are you kidding? Both have done extensive touring since, and they look just fine. One of Kenny's publicists said he suffered NO injuries. Tim's manager said he suffered bruises on his legs after being struck with an officer's baton, but added: "No, I'm not aware of any severe and permanent injuries he sustained. I'm not sure that language applies to Tim."
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<br>Damage to their careers?
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<br>Tim's publicists just sent out a press release saying his tour, with wife Faith Hill, is doing pretty dern good. Here's the headline:
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<br>"HILL/McGRAW'S 'SOUL 2 SOUL TOUR 2000' ONE OF SUMMER'S 'HOTTEST' GROSSING TOURS." Doesn't sound like Tim's HURTIN' TO ME!
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<br>Tim's latest album, A Place in the Sun, is approaching 4 million in sales, awesome by anyone's standards. Sales remained strong throughout breaking news stories about "the incident."
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<br>Tim's buddy, Kenny, scored his first-ever appearance on the Jay Leno show after the fracas, and album sales got a bump up after that appearance. His latest, Everywhere I Go, which includes hits How Forever Feels and She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy, is approaching the 2 million mark, also quite impressive.
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<br>Publicists for both artists say no concert dates have been canceled because of the fracas.
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<br>Can you say "silly lawsuit"?
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<br>Hmmmm. Maybe Kenny should get in another "fracas" -- he might score a Letterman appearance.
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<br>N

Chris Gaines
08-31-2000, 08:59 PM
Just so ya'll know..
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<br>Tim and Kenny.. have NOT FILED A LAWSUIT YET... it's pour speculation right now.
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<br>;)
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<br>JasonN

Anonymous
09-01-2000, 03:37 PM
Tim and Kenny haven't filed the lawsuit yet because right now they are only threatening to file a lawsuit. A lawsuit that is based on solid grounds. The cops had no reason to arrest Kenny. They might have had reason to arrest Tim, but they should have taken the whole situation into account before they put them both in jail. Yes what Tim did was wrong but how were the cops acting in the right? Why is it assumed that the cops must be telling the truth and that Tim and Kenny are lying simply because they are famous. In reality they are all covering their own butts. Plain and simple. The cops are just wasting their time trying to make an example of Tim when he may not have done anything unlawful or wrong given the circumstances that he was in.N

Cheryl
09-01-2000, 07:02 PM
Another article by Brad Schmitt from www.tennessean.com
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Friday, 9/1/2000
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<br>Brad About You
<br>Tim's manager compares fracas to Rodney King
<br>Tim McGraw's manager issued what may be the most strongly worded attack yet on the Erie County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Department after the June debacle backstage at Ralph Wilson Stadium near Buffalo.
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<br>Tim's manager, Scott Siman, told me on the phone Wednesday night that Tim was in the right when he interceded when deputies yanked Kenny Chesney off a police horse.
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<br>"If you came upon the police beating Rodney King, do you think you'd have a right to try to stop that?" Siman said.
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<br>Siman also said Erie County Sheriff Patrick Gallivan has "been outrageous in the deal. The guy's had more press conferences than Tim has had."
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<br>"This makes no sense.
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<br>"Maybe it's not about justice and law.
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<br>"Maybe it's just about publicity.
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<br>"What happened was pretty simple. They were wrong in pulling Kenny off the horse, Tim intervened, nobody was hurt -- let it go."
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<br>Siman said the legal notice filed this week that Tim and Kenny might sue police was really just a move to keep options open.
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<br>"Tim's not looking to make money. It's just that, clearly it was a false arrest. There was no reason to arrest Kenny, and there's no reason to arrest Tim."
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<br>But that wasn't the end of the story ...
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<br>And the sheriff fires back at Tim
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<br>Erie County (N.Y.) Sheriff Patrick Gallivan said it was "ridiculous" for Tim McGraw's manager to compare the Rodney King beating to Kenny Chesney getting yanked off a horse.
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<br>"Rodney King was a beating. There was no striking of Chesney," Gallivan said.
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<br>"They've done a really good job in diverting attention from the real issue at hand. It's never in the U.S. OK to assault a police officer who is lawfully doing his job."
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<br>Gallivan also said he'd held no press conferences on the episode, only responded to developments and to reporters' inquiries.
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<br>"We have country music performers who make money by seeking publicity. My job is to enforce the law. It's ridiculous to say I'm seeking publicity."
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<br>N