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Veteran files civil complaint against city, first responders

McIlrath claims he was battered, kidnapped and unlawfully arrested
Marc McIlrath, 62, of Farmington claims he was unlawfully arrested in November 2023, after first responders forced him into an ambulance and took him to the hospital.

A Farmington man filed a civil complaint against the city of Farmington, the police department, fire department, San Juan Regional Medical Center and the San Juan County Detention Center claiming he was assaulted, battered, kidnapped and unlawfully arrested.

Marc McIlrath, 62, is a decorated military veteran. He suffered a traumatic brain injury in May 2021, leaving him on “medication to control the effects of the injury,” which includes convulsions, seizures, memory loss and other symptoms, according to attorney Arlon Stoker, who represents McIlrath in the complaint filed May 6 in the 11th Judicial District Court.

McIlrath was arrested Nov. 18, 2023, and booked into the San Juan County Detention Center. He was charged with battery on a health care worker, a charge that was dismissed Jan. 23, because of “insufficient evidence,” according to court records.

The charges were in connection to an Oct. 28, 2023, incident at his home in the 4100 block of Rowe Avenue. Police were called to the scene, because according to the affidavit for arrest warrant McIlrath “had a history of being rough with medical professionals.”

However, a review of court records showed this was the first time McIlrath was charged with a criminal offense.

Dispatch had called medics to McIlrath’s home because he “had fallen on the ground after coming back up his driveway from fetching his mail,” the affidavit states.

Medics claimed “they made numerous attempts to wake him up until they were able to get him sightly alert and he fell unconscious again,” the affidavit states.

McIlrath’s claim states that he “regained consciousness and went into his house, indicating that he would be all right and did not want or need further medical treatment.”

The affidavit states “a doctor at the San Juan Regional Medical Center made a directive for EMS to transport him to the facility.”

McIlrath “protested,” stating “he did not want to be transported to the hospital and that he would be OK at home,” the civil claim states.

McIlrath reportedly told the them that “the last time he was taken to the ER he was stranded there without a way to get home and he did not want to go through that again.”

EMS and the police reportedly ignored McIlrath’s pleas to stay home, instead calling a supervisor “to coax him on the stretcher that medics had moved into the residence,” according to the affidavit.

Police officers claim that when “medics tried to help him to the stretcher, Marc grabbed a medic, identified as Mechelle Begaye, by the wrist and twisted it upward,” the affidavit states.

Begaye, then, reportedly asked to have charges filed against McIlrath.

McIlrath, however, states through his attorney Arlon Stoker that “Begaye grabbed him by the arm, attempting to place him on the stretcher,” and that McIlrath “forcibly removed Defendant Begaye’s hand from his arm.”

McIlrath continued to “struggle” and “resist” going to the ER, as “EMTs attempted to forcibly place him on a stretcher,” the civil complaint states.

Then, “he was overpowered” by firefighters, EMTs and Police Officers Dustin Hall and J. Prince and “was taken to the SJRMC emergency where he was required to stay until released,” the complaint states.

McIlrath’s complaint further states that he was held in the emergency room “for almost three hours without receiving medical attention,” before released and made to walk home.

The complaint further claims that San Juan Regional was negligent and “failed to train and supervise EMTs and employees, “causing injury to” McIlrath.

After being released from the hospital, police arrested McIlrath and took him to the San Juan County Detention Center, where “corrections officers knowingly and with deliberate indifference failed to provide him with medical treatment and deprived him of medication necessary to treat” his symptoms of TBI, Stoker wrote in the civil complaint.

Without his medication, McIlrath reportedly experienced “hallucination and seizures while wrongfully incarcerated,” the complain claims.

Stoker in the complaint states that all of this constitutes a “deprivation” of McIlrath’s civil rights,” and therefore he requests his client be awarded damages, including attorney fees and costs.