On September 20, 2017, Cohen Milstein filed a complaint on behalf of Kimberly Lucas against the City of Ocala (Ocala Police Department) for negligence. Ms. Lucas was assaulted by an arrestee who was known to be high on drugs, violent, and an escape risk after an Ocala Police Department Officer took off his handcuffs and left him alone with her in a small secluded room for over twenty minutes.

Case Background

On December 21, 2016, Ocala police brought a suspected bank robber, Jonathan Michael Rollins, to Ocala Regional Medical Center prior to being transported to Marion County Jail after he complained of injuring his back during his arrest.

Because Mr. Rollins was a violent, dangerous, previously convicted felon, high on drugs, and was a flight risk, the arresting officer put him in handcuffs and leg shackles and instructed other officers that he never be left unsecured, unsupervised, or unshackled.

However,  the officer responsible for Mr. Rollins at the hospital, Ocala Police Department Officer Kenneth Mitchell, removed his handcuffs and left Mr. Rollins alone with the Plaintiff, Ms. Kimberly Lucas, an Ocala Regional Medical Center technician, in a small x-ray room for over twenty minutes. During that time, Mr. Rollins seized the opportunity to attempt an escape and grabbed Ms. Lucas as a hostage. 

Mr. Rollins placed Ms. Lucas in a head lock and dragged her by her neck out of the x-ray room and towards the back of the radiology area. Ms. Lucas’s co-workers, not Officer Mitchell, who had wandered off, came to help free Ms. Lucas. While holding Ms. Lucas captive, Mr. Rollins inflicted numerous injuries to her body, head, and neck, and threatened to kill her.

Officer Mitchell eventually returned to the radiology department. Seeing Mr. Rollins with scissors in his hand and attempting to stab Ms. Lucas, Officer Mitchell shot his firearm multiple times at Mr. Rollins, hitting him and ending the altercation. Mr. Rollins survived the shooting.

Through her lawsuit the Plaintiff, Kimberly Lucas, is attempting to hold the Ocala Police Department accountable for the harms and losses she incurred due to Officer’s Mitchell’s careless decision to leave Mr. Rollins alone with her, which was also against Ocala Police department policy.

The case is Lucas V. City of Ocala Complaint, Case No. 17-CA-1751, Circuit Court, Fifth Judicial Circuit, Marion County Florida