Lawsuit seeking nearly $1.5 million to be filed against Greenwood Police Department

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GREENWOOD, Ind.– The elderly victims of a violent robbery plan to sue the City of Greenwood and Greenwood Police Department for nearly $1.5 million.

A notice of tort claim filed in October on behalf of Ella and Clayton Dixon says the Franklin couple will each seek $700,000 for pain and suffering they sustained at the hands of Reese Keith.

Keith was sentenced to 62 years in prison last week after being convicted of robbing the Dixons at gunpoint and leaving them bound with duct tape. Ella Dixon was 88 at the time of the robbery and her husband Clayton, a World War II veteran, was 90.

Reese Keith

Ella and Clayton each sustained physical injuries and Clayton’s mental health has declined since the robbery. During Keith’s trial, prosecutors argued that the violent robbery had accelerated Clayton’s dementia to the point where he can no longer live at home with his wife of 70 years. Clayton now resides in an assisted living center, accumulating monthly healthcare costs that have depleted the couples’ retirement savings, prosecutors argued.

The claim, filed by attorney David Wilson, says the attack on the Claytons wouldn’t have happened if Greenwood police hadn’t left Keith unguarded at Johnson Memorial Hospital in May 2017.

The claim states that Greenwood police arrested Keith after he left the scene of a crash. Keith suffered a seizure on the way to jail and Greenwood police took him to Johnson Memorial Hospital, where he was admitted due to suspected methamphetamine use.

“At approximately 11:00 PM on May 14, 2017, City of Greenwood officers left Keith unattended at the Johnson Memorial Hospital rather than waiting for Keith to be discharged to the Johnson County Jail,” the claim states.

“As a direct and proximate result of City of Greenwood’s failure to maintain custody or take other precautions, Keith left the Johnson Memorial Hospital with an IV attached and wearing a hospital gown,” the claim continues.

After leaving the hospital, Keith walked a block away from the hospital to the Dixons’ home, where the robbery occurred hours later.

Shortly after the robbery, Greenwood police announced new policies for maintaining custody of arrested suspects who are admitted to a hospital. The policies include requiring a shift supervisor to give authorization before officers can leave a suspect at a hospital.

Seeking $700,000 for each of the Dixons means the suit is seeking the maximum amount allowed by law when suing a government entity. Wilson expects to filed the suit within the next week.

Greenwood police have not commented on the pending litigation.