Family of injured Springfield Officer Mark Priebe files civil lawsuit against man accused of hitting him

 Officer Mark Priebe - Courtesy Springfield Police Department
Officer Mark Priebe - Courtesy Springfield Police Department (KY3)
Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 5:09 PM CDT
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The Springfield police officer likely paralyzed by a driver outside police headquarters this month is suing the man who hit him.

Mark Priebe and his wife filed a lawsuit June 16 in Greene County Court against Jon Tyler Routh. Supporting documents call for “punitive damages in such amounts… to prevent a repetition of such conduct in the future,” plus court-related costs and relief that a judge feels is “just and proper.”

Police say Routh, 28, used his SUV to ram Priebe in the SPD parking lot, crushing him against a concrete pillar June 9. Priebe -- who has served with SPD for 21 years -- was attempting to get Routh to stop his car after the suspect was seen urinating on the doors leading into the building. Witnesses saw Routh circling the building in his car for about 45 minutes prior to the incident.

The lawsuit states a doctor believes Priebe will never walk again, noting the officer suffered “broken ribs, spinal cord injuries, further back injuries, and [injuries to] other vital parts of his body.”

Thursday, a medical team flew Priebe from Springfield to Colorado for physical therapy and further treatment.

Priebe’s suit claims Routh should be held accountable for intentional assault, negligence, and “loss of consortium, companionship, and all other services provided… (Priebe) would no longer be able to provide for his Spouse.”

Court documents show Priebe may not be able to work again, will be a parapelegic for life, and will face medical expenses that will total millions of dollars.

In the 10 days since the incident, the Springfield police union set up a fundraising account for Priebe and his family. Other groups and organizations have held or intend to hold fundraisers for the family.

Routh told investigators he believed police or the FBI were mentally harassing him prior to the incident. Routh said he drove around the building to show he “meant business and they would leave him alone.”

Springfield police shot Routh when he refused to stop his car after hitting Officer Priebe. Investigators used a search warrant to find texts Routh sent earlier that morning, which stated, “I’m going to run a cop over I think.”

Routh is being held in the Greene County Jail without bond. He is due in court July 9.