Elderly couple sue after police mistake hibiscus for marijuana

Elderly couple sue after police mistake hibiscus for marijuana

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.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Butler County Court, alleges Nationwide agent Jonathan Yeamans "intentionally photographed the flowering hibiscus plants in such a manner as not to reveal that they had flowers on them so that they would appear to resemble marijuana plants".

At the end of the ordeal, they were allowed to leave the auto, but their hibiscus plants were confiscated.

The couple say that on September 20 police stormed their house, harassed them, took their plants and arrested them, while Audrey Cramer was still in her underwear.

According to the Tribune Review, photos taken by a neighbor prompted police to detain the couple and obtain a search warrant. Audrey Cramer, 66, said she was wearing only a bra, a short top and underpants when they arrived.

Audrey Cramer said three Buffalo Township police officers pulled her out of her home while she was dressed in only her underwear October 7.

The Cramers said they were handcuffed and forced to sit in a police vehicle for four hours while the officers ransacked their home.

The suit claims Cramer asked if she could put on a pair of trousers next to her, and was told "in no uncertain terms" that she could not.

The suit claims he was met with leveled guns, removed from his auto, placed under arrest and put in the police vehicle with his wife for more than two hours. Edward said that he repeatedly tried to explain that hibiscus and marijuana weren't the same thing. Lindsay asked in a phone interview.

The couple's attorney, Al Lindsay, filed a lawsuit today on their behalf.

According the lawsuit, Hess admitted that he didn't think the plants were marijuana, but confiscated them nonetheless and labeled them "tall, green, leafy, suspected marijuana plants".

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. The letter said their insurance would be canceled if the marijuana wasn't removed, according to CBS Pittsburgh. They are seeking a jury trial.