LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Family attacked during 2014 mob violence sues LMPD, previously accused teens


Just after a settlement with the city, three young men are once again accused of attacking a family during a night of mob violence in downtown Louisville last year.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, a family claims the young men were part of a mob of teenagers who attacked them as they sat in traffic near the intersection of First and Jefferson Streets.

The family also claims Louisville Metro Police did not sufficiently alert the public to the dangerous situation downtown as the mob violence occurred despite knowing of the possibility for harm to citizens in such situations.

Viola Loeffler and Ronald Carter -- of Clarksville, Ind. -- say they had taken their children to pick up friends in Valley Station. While the family was on the way back to Indiana with the children, they stopped in downtown Louisville at a gas station.

"They were in the wrong place at the wrong time," says plaintiff's attorney Tom McAdam, "Unfortunately that wrong place is our city."

While stopped at a light at First and Jefferson, the family says their car was attacked by a mob of "200 unknown rioters" and the previously accused Shaquazz Allen, Tyrone Booker and Craig Dean -- Loeffler and Carter claim to have positively identified Booker, Allen and Dean in photographs brought to them later by police.

According to the lawsuit, Carter got out of the car to confront the attackers when he was physically assaulted by the group of teens. Loeffler says as she attempted to flee with the children, she was also punched in the face.

Loeffler says she eventually got the kids into a nearby food mart, but the kids were distressed and suffered some minor injuries from thrown rocks and broken glass.

"My clients deserve compensation for what happened to them," McAdam said "They were harmed because of negligence on the city and a mean,cruel, racial attack."

The family claims LMPD knew of previous violent situations in the locations where violence erupted on March 22, 2014 -- citing the same memo, which explained, "Over the past few months, violence has been an issue that left numerous law abiding citizens victimized...Problematic locations: Waterfront Park, Big Four Bridge, First Street from Broadway to Market."

According to documents included in the lawsuit, LMPD admitted after the incident that the city's online crime maps had not been properly displaying the locations for some crimes.

"Part of the reason for this lawsuit is to impress upon the mayor and the city council that they need to take a more active role in protecting the citizens of this community," McAdam said.

The city subsequently made "improvements" to the crime maps to tie park locations to physical addresses, in order to "more accurately display crimes that occur in local parks."

Allen, Booker and Dean's attorney said he had not had a chance to read the lawsuit as of Thursday afternoon and had no comment as a result.