Raiders Safety Nate Allen Sues Fort Myers Police for Wrongful Arrest Over Public Masturbation
Allen filed a federal lawsuit against the Fort Myers Police Department yesterday on the grounds of civil rights violation.
Nate Allen, against the Cardinals in a preseason game on August 12. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas—USA TODAY Sports
Nearly two years ago, Oakland Raiders safety Nate Allen was accused of and arrested for public masturbation in the presence of a 16-year-old girl. And now Allen is filing a federal lawsuit against the Fort Myers Police Department for wrongful arrest, according to The News-Press.
The Florida State Attorney's office launched an investigation into the incident, which happened in February of 2015, and determined that Allen could not have been responsible—and the evidence is certainly stacked against the Fort Myers police.
According to police reports, the girl described a man of "mixed race" in his 40s to 50s with a white goatee pulling up to a stoplight in his truck before he started masturbating. Though, yes, Allen was pulled over while driving a truck, he was 26 at the time, and had only a barely visible amount of facial hair. Allen also claimed that he was leaving a Red Lobster at the time of the incident, and was on a phone call.
"Despite Allen not fitting the description given by the girl and despite knowing the girl was 16 years of age," the complaint says, the supervising officer in charge of the arrest "detained Allen for 'Exposure of Sexual Organs to a Minor Under 16 Years of Age', and took him to the Fort Myers Police Department for further detention and questioning."
Allen was eventually let go after being held for five hours, but the investigation showed that two of those hours were spent after Fort Myers police had determined that he had been arrested under the wrong statute. Allen is also accusing the Fort Myers Police Department of conspiring to cover up the unreasonable seizure. The standing police chief at the time, Doug Baker, was out of town during the arrest, and was fired after it was discovered that he had lied during the internal affairs investigation.
While no charges were ever brought against Allen, who was with the Eagles at the time, he suffered a fairly big hit to his reputation, as news of his arrest hit major outlets right before he became a free agent several months later.
"Forget football," Allen told the Philly.com at the time. "Being associated with something this disgusting is repulsive."
Allen's lawsuit was filed yesterday, on the grounds of civil rights violation.
"The purpose of this lawsuit is to hold the Fort Myers Police Department accountable," said Sawyer Smith, Allen's lawyer, "and to ensure that the civil rights of citizens in our community are taken seriously and preserved so no one has to go through this again."