Suit: Burglar injures Portland man after cops 'cleared' home
A local real estate agent has accused the Portland Police Bureau of negligence after he was assaulted by a burglar who remained undetected by cops who said they "cleared" the agent's home, a new lawsuit says.
A lawyer representing Melvin Broadous, a Realtor with RE/MAX Equity Group, filed the $750,000 lawsuit against the city of Portland in Multnomah County Circuit Court on April 13.
The litigation says Broadous' neighbor dialed him on Aug. 16, 2020, after spotting an "active burglary" at the real estate agent's Piedmont neighborhood house. Broadous rushed toward home, but was contacted by Officer Nicholas Morales while he was still en route, per the suit.
Officer Morales assured Broadous he and an unnamed partner had "cleared the residence and that the threat no longer existed," the suit claims. "When Plaintiff asked Defendant Morales to wait before departing, Defendant Morales declined, repeating that the area had been cleared."
Broadous finally arrived at home to find no police — and a burglar clutching stolen goods exiting through the bedroom window, the suit alleges, going on to say "a chase ensued" and the 64-year-old ended up being assaulted with his own tripod, sustaining injuries including a torn right rotator cuff that now needs surgery.
Broadous says in the lawsuit that he currently suffers from pain that must be managed with medication and prevents him from lifting his arm.
"Plaintiff was entitled to rely on Defendants' assurances that he was safe to enter his residence," the suit states.
Court documents filed in a separate criminal case say Daniel R. Rowland, a 49-year-old transient with 11 felony convictions on his record, was arrested on the scene and charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree assault.
"Rowland swung a large bag containing metal poles and yard tools at Broadous," according to a probable cause affidavit. "Broadous was able to subdue Rowland until police arrived. Broadous was injured during the altercation."
Rowland has pleaded not guilty on all counts and is awaiting trial inside Inverness Jail.
Broadous served as president of the Portland Metro Association of Realtors in 2008 and was named Realtor of the Year in 2009. A spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau referred questions to the City Attorney's Office, which declined to comment.
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