(Kansas City Star) – A weapons case has become the latest chapter in the 30-year criminal career of a Kansas City man who once brought down a local sheriff.
Damone L. Cribbs, whose forced removal from a hospital emergency room in 1986 led to a federal civil rights prosecution of John Quinn, who was then the Wyandotte County sheriff, is in federal custody for allegedly possessing a firearm illegally.
A Missouri Highway Patrol trooper arrested Cribbs, 49, on Tuesday after stopping him for speeding in Buchanan County.
The trooper reported he could smell burnt marijuana. A search of the rental car Cribbs was driving turned up about 17 grams of suspected marijuana and a .357-caliber revolver, according to federal court documents.
“I had the gun for protection because I keep getting robbed,” Cribbs allegedly said while being booked into jail.
Convicted felons cannot legally possess firearms, and Cribbs’ record of convictions goes back at least to 1985, according to court and prison records.
Federal documents list convictions for him that include theft and criminal possession of a firearm in Wyandotte County and unlawful use of a weapon and drug trafficking in Jackson County.
Kansas prison records also show Wyandotte County convictions for attempted aggravated assault and attempted voluntary manslaughter.
In the 1986 hospital incident, Cribbs was being treated for an asthma attack when Quinn and several deputies disconnected intravenous and breathing lines and removed him from the hospital despite doctors’ protests.
They took Cribbs to court, where he pleaded guilty to a theft charge.
When taken back to the hospital, he was in critical condition. Doctors said he nearly died.
Two years later, a federal grand jury indicted Quinn on a misdemeanor charge of violating Cribbs’ civil rights.
Quinn later pleaded guilty and was placed on probation. He lost a re-election bid.
Cribbs is being held by federal authorities pending a detention hearing scheduled for Monday. Prosecutors are seeking to have him kept in custody while the case is pending.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.