Man Claims to Be Forcibly Catheterized; Washington State Pays Out

The state has agreed to pay $15,000 to a man who claimed he was forcefully catheterized after being arrested for investigation of drunken driving, authorities said.

The settlement reached Friday with Matthew Clifford Arthur, 37, over his treatment following an arrest in November 2005 did not include an admission of wrongdoing, Assistant Attorney General Gary E. Andrews said.

"This turned out to be a better way to go than to spend more money litigating it," Andrews said Monday.

Arthur sued last month, accusing two Cowlitz County sheriff's deputies and a state corrections officer of forcing him to undergo catheterization and have blood drawn when he refused to provide urine and blood samples at a hospital after a traffic stop.

Arthur was required to undergo screening for intoxicants upon request under a probation agreement, but his lawyer, Kevin G. Blondin, said the procedure was painful, invasive and unnecessary.

Arthur should have been taken to jail when he refused to give the fluid samples, Blondin said.

Arthur was later convicted of obstructing justice, reckless driving, driving under the influence and malicious mischief. In August, he pleaded guilty to violating a protection order. He is serving a two-year, nine-month prison sentence.

The corrections officer needed to know how intoxicated Arthur was in order "to fully understand the risks that Mr. Arthur may or may not present to the community," Andrews said.