Lawsuit Claims Charlottesville Officer Acted Outside of Authority in Nelson Co.

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Jeffrey E. Fogel (FILE IMAGE) Jeffrey E. Fogel (FILE IMAGE)

A federal lawsuit is accusing a Charlottesville police officer of overstepping his authority.

A family says they were driving home on October 12, 2016, when their minivan was pulled over in Nelson County by an off-duty city officer.

According to the suit (see below), Jon Freivald detained the family for more than a half hour before letting them continue. The officer is said to have claimed that the family was driving too slow in the left lane.

Freivald was allegedly wearing his police uniform and driving a police vehicle at the time of the incident. A second man, identified in the lawsuit as "John Doe," was traveling with the officer in the police vehicle.

The suit argues that the Charlottesville police officer had no jurisdiction and no right to hold the family.

Attorney Jeffrey Fogel is representing the family. He asserts the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop the minivan, and by stopping the minivan without authority to do so, the officer conducted an illegal seizure.

The family is seeking compensatory damages and a trial by jury.