Nearly a year after being fired for misconduct, former Ringgold police sergeant Tom Evans has filed a lawsuit seeking to recoup damages caused by a woman he claims made false allegations that led to his dismissal.
Evans was relieved of his duties on Feb. 15, 2013, after an internal investigation conducted by his superiors determined he had broken rules by escorting an FBI agent, the agent’s girlfriend and the girlfriend’s daughter to Chattanooga, after a rowdy night out in October 2012.
Evans left his Ringgold post, failed to write a report about the incident, and likewise failed to notify his superiors or the Catoosa County 911 center of his activity.
The entire incident was classified as “a favor” in the words of Evans, who responded to a possible drunken driver call at Acoustic Café on RBC Drive in Ringgold. Evans arrived to find that the driver in question was FBI special agent Ken Hillman, head of the Northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force — a unit Evans had been working with — whose primary focus was catching online sexual predators.
At Hillman’s request, Evans chose not to write a report about the run-in, and instead opted to chauffeur the trio to his girlfriend, Angela Russell’s, condominium.
After arriving at the condo, Evans and Russell’s daughter, Kathryn, sat out in his patrol car while her mother and Hillman were inside. That is the basis of Evans’ lawsuit, which he filed in Catoosa County Superior Court on Dec. 20.
During the investigation, Kathryn Russell told Ringgold police chief Dan Bilbrey and then-assistant chief Greg Wingo that Evans “hit on” her and made advances while the two were alone.
“If I were younger I would be all over you,” she claimed Evans told her. “If I weren’t married I would ask you out.”
She also claimed that Evans tried to coax her into removing her clothes.
During her interview with Wingo, she also alleged that Evans said, “If you take your shirt off, I’ll take you back to your car.”
Then and now, Evans vehemently denied the allegations, as evident in the suit filed by his attorney Larry Stagg.
That suit accuses Kathryn Russell of making false statements and allegations about him, which ultimately contributed to his firing.
The “false allegations are of a sexual nature and constitute slander,” the lawsuit reads. It also claims “at no time did Evans ‘hit on,’ nor did he ask or inquire in any way to see her breasts.”
The suit claims slander and defamation against Evans by Russell, and Evans has asked for a jury trial, compensation for damages and reimbursement of attorney fees.
Neither Evans’ attorney, nor Russell’s attorney Clifton M. Patty, could be reached for comment Tuesday.