Buffalo Township couple sues township, insurance company, claiming false arrest

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Johnathan Yeamans, the Nationwide Mutual Insurance agent who the lawsuit says "intentionally photographed the flowering hibiscus plants in such a manner as not to reveal that they had flowers on them so they would appear to resemble marijuana plants", is also named in the civil suit, cited by the Valley News Dispatch.

Three weeks after the police's daring anti-hibiscus raid, the Cramers received a letter from their insurance company claiming that marijuana had been found on their property.

Audrey and Edward Cramer talked about that incident on Thursday as they announced the lawsuit.

The homeowners allege that the agent secretly took photos of their hibiscus plants located in their backyard and forwarded them to law enforcement.

The problem for police is that the plants they confiscated were Kenaf hibiscus plants, not marijuana.

The police arrived October 07 with a warrant to search the Cramers' home, according to a report by CBS Pittsburgh.

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According to the Tribune Review, photos taken by a neighbor prompted police to detain the couple and obtain a search warrant. Two days later, officers with the Buffalo Township Police Department held assault rifles on them despite the fact that they repeatedly told them it was just a hibiscus plant.

In addition, Mrs. Cramer was only partially dressed when the police arrived at their home and was not allowed to put on trousers before being handcuffed and placed in a cruiser.

According to the complaint, Sgt. Scott Hess then demanded that Cramer put her hands up and told her that he had a search warrant but would not show it to her. "They pushed her. They went through the house". Police allegedly pointed their guns at him, arrested him, and stuck him in the squad auto with his wife. Lindsay asked in a phone interview.

The suit says police found no marijuana in the home or outdoors and released the Cramers from the police vehicle.

The letter stated that if they failed to remove the marijuana plants, Nationwide would cancel their insurance policy.

The Cramers said that the police kept them handcuffed in the cruiser for more than four hours and damaged the house during the course of the search.