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Attorney files claim against village

William Radosevich

William Radosevich, a prominent local attorney, has filed a notice of claim against the village of North Hudson for what he calls an illegal arrest and false imprisonment. He is asking for $50,000 in damages.

He was arrested briefly on the evening of July 8, 2011, by the North Hudson Police Department after a report was filed by another driver who said Radosevich, 67, was driving "erratically" on Hwy. 35 as the two vehicles approached the village. The traffic stop occurred in front of the Village Inn in North Hudson.

When Radosevich took a breath test, no alcohol was present in his system. North Hudson Police Officer Robert Moody, however, handcuffed and arrested Radosevich. According to the incident report, Moody suspected some other drug may have been present in Radosevich's system. Moody indicated that he did not believe Radosevich performed adequately on a couple of phases of the field sobriety test. Radosevich later volunteered to have a blood draw at the hospital, but was then told it was not necessary.

"Essentially the North Hudson Police are undertrained, under supervised and overzealous," Radosevich said. "I don't expect any special treatment, but if this can happen to me at 6:30 p.m. on a Friday night, what chance does a 20-year-old have at 11 p.m.?"

In his Notice of Claim, Radosevich notes that he was returning to his home in North Hudson after attending a funeral in Ashland. He also noted that despite the alcohol reading of 0.00, he was immediately arrested, handcuffed and placed in the back of the village squad car, unattended for 30 minutes with the "interior temperature of the squad car believed to be in excess of 100 degrees."

According to the officer's report, a county deputy interviewed the witness who had called in the "erratic" driving. The witness pulled into the Freedom station in North Hudson. Eventually Moody telephoned North Hudson Police Chief Mark Richert who advised Moody to "un-arrest" Radosevich (about 7:10 p.m.) and give him a ride home. In the report, Richert is quoted as saying Moody's "findings may have been relevant, but were likely to be insufficient to prove impairment."

Moody advised Radosevich not to drive his vehicle to which Radosevich replied in the report "I disagree with you 100 percent," but agreed not to drive as requested.

Radosevich defended his inability to complete a couple of the field tests because of his physical condition.

"I did the alphabet, counting and finger dexterity just fine," Radosevich said. "I struggled with the eye test because he asked me to take my glasses off. As far as the walk and turn test, I had been in the car eight hours that day and was stiff."

Another test asks the suspect to tilt the head back for what the suspect perceives as 30 seconds. Radosevich performed the test, but held the position longer than 30 seconds.

Radosevich said his "erratic" driving may have been a misunderstanding of what the witness observed.

"On Hwy. 35 outside of North Hudson I did move over a couple of times for some bikers on the road," Radosevich said. "I also noticed this car following me, so I slowed a couple of times, thinking the driver would pass me. When he didn't, I sped back up to the speed limit."

The witness also accused Radosevich of running a stop sign in Somerset. Radosevich denied that charge.

"I was the village attorney in Somerset for many years -- I know where the police sit, watching cars comes down the hill in front of the Catholic Church," Radosevich said. "I know the speed limit and the stop signs."

Radosevich was also the attorney for the city of Hudson for a number of years.

A Notice of Claim is not a lawsuit, but sets the stage for a potential suit. Essentially Radosevich is asking the village to pay him $50,000. The village can either accept or deny the claim. If it does nothing in six months, the claim is automatically denied. Radosevich then has six months to file a suit in either Wisconsin Circuit Court or in the U.S. District Court.

In the Notice of Claim, Radosevich said: As a result of the acts of North Hudson Officer Moody, he has suffered harm to his professional reputation and embarrassment, pain to his wrists, humiliation and emotional distress, all to his damage in the sum of $50,000.

When asked about the claim, both North Hudson Village President George Klein and Village Attorney Terry Dunst declined comment.