Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Against Horse Cave, its Police Department, Others

Sep 20, 2018

A Barren County man has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city of Horse Cave and its police department.  The civil complaint alleges that officers tried to coerce the citizen into orchestrating a drug deal. 

Travis Branstetter of Glasgow is also suing former Horse Cave Police Chief Sean Henry and officers Larry Dale Martin and James Roberts.

According to court records filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Branstetter claims he was unlawfully detained and arrested at a police roadblock in August 2017.  He alleges that Horse Cave police told him he was being arrested for DUI, yet officers didn’t perform any field sobriety tests.

Branstetter further alleges that officers told him that he would not be arrested if he set up a drug purchase with a third party. 

"The Plaintiff remained detained on the side of the road for over an hour while he pretended to attempt to set up the illegal drug purchase as ordered by the Officer Defendants, according to the civil complaint. "Eventually, the Plaintiff informed the Office Defendants that he was not able to set up the drug purchase."

Branstetter claims officers let him go on the promise that he would try the next day to set up the narcotics purchase, or else get arrested again for DUI.  Branstetter says he then reported the incident to a friend who worked for the Hart County Sheriff’s Office at the time. 

The defendants responded to the allegations in separate court filings and denied most of the accusations.  The defendants claim immunity and are asking the complaint be dismissed, as well as claims for punitive damages. 

Attorneys for each side have not returned phone calls requesting comments.