Idaho State players win settlement in false arrest lawsuit
OGDEN, Utah (AP) — A Utah county agreed to pay more than $10,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by two Idaho State University football players who said they were falsely arrested during a bank robbery investigation.
Nehemiah McFarlin and Atoatasi Fox will receive $5,100 each in the settlement with Box Elder County, The Standard-Examiner reported Monday.
The lawsuit accused Box Elder County, Oneida County in Idaho and the Utah Highway Patrol of false arrest, excessive force and illegal search and seizure.
The pair were arrested Dec. 14, 2016, as part of an investigation into a robbery earlier that day in Malad, Idaho.
McFarlin and Fox said they were arrested while driving on Interstate 15 from Idaho to California for a university holiday break. Fox is a former player and McFarlin is still a member of the school’s football team.
Despite presenting alibis demonstrating they had not robbed the bank, authorities arrested the men because a bank teller said the robber was black and used a white car, the lawsuit said.
Both the men are black.
McFarlin’s car was white but otherwise did not match the description of the car used in the robbery, the lawsuit said.
The pair received a separate $21,000 settlement from the state of Utah on behalf of the highway patrol in December and Fox accepted an undisclosed settlement from Oneida County in May.
Box Elder County attorneys could not be immediately be reached for comment.
Box Elder County Chief Deputy Sheriff Dale Ward was contacted but said he had not yet been notified about the settlement.
This story has been corrected to show in the headline that the players were from Idaho State, not Utah.