A Ruckersville man facing two felony charges stemming from a traffic stop last July pleaded not guilty in Greene County Circuit Court last Friday.
Charles Allen Wimer, 46, faces felony charges of assaulting an officer and eluding police. In addition, Wimer is charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest. He pleaded not guilty to all charges on July 12.
Documents allege that, according to the information contained in police reports and body camera recordings, a Greene County Sheriff’s deputy conducted a traffic stop on a car that had no registration decals displayed. The police report describes “Wimer start[ing] to drive away” causing the officer’s arm to “go inside his vehicle as the vehicle was moving.” Additional units responded, and documents allege that video footage from one of the patrol cars shows a “physical struggle between Wimer and three agents.”
Wimer requested a trial by jury, which is scheduled for Jan. 13, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in Greene County Circuit Court.
Wimer filed a federal civil suit against a number of Greene County offices and officials in March claiming that his rights under the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) act were violated when he did not receive a qualified reader/writer in these court proceedings. No new filings have been made since May 23 in that case.
Wimer alleges that court staff advised him to get legal aid assistance in filling out paperwork when the court should have provided the accommodation. Wimer also alleges that the sheriff’s department and court “failed to provide documents in an accessible format” or provide a reader/writer to assist.
Documents show that an employee of Central Virginia Regional Jail was notified on July 15, 2018 that Wimer claimed he was disabled and could not read and write, and specifically mentioned the Americans with Disabilities Act. Wimer filed an ADA request for accommodation on July 16, two days before a scheduled arraignment. He requested a “reader/ writer prior to court to assist in filing legal documents and during court for any reading or writing defendant is required to do. Use of assistive technology devices such as a tablet to take notes during hearing.” Greene County Circuit Court Judge Dale Durrer found that Wimer’s attorney could serve as his reader/writer.
On May 16, Wimer, in a statement created by using a voice-to-text app, said “It’s the defendant’s duty and responsibility to provide their services in accessible formats to the public and to remove communication barriers including for those who have reading and writing disabilities.”
On May 23, counsel for Greene County officials and offices said in a statement, “Wimer has failed to allege that he was, actually, denied access to courts or otherwise excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of public services, programs or activities - or even that the defendants are responsible for any denial or exclusion.”
From June of 2016 to January of this year, Wimer has filed four similar federal complaints under ADA in other Virginia jurisdictions each time he faced criminal charges. He has yet to be successful.