City says Baton Bob’s lawsuit cites ‘baseless’ claims

The lawsuit filed by the street performer known as Baton Bob asserts baseless claims about his 2013 arrest in Midtown, the City of Atlanta said in a statement Friday.

It was the first response to Bob Jamerson's complaint, originally filed in June 2014, and re-filed last week with additional details, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. On Monday, a spokeswoman for Atlanta police said the City had not been served with the lawsuit, which states that Jamerson's constitutional rights were violated.

On June 26, 2013, Jamerson was performing as Baton Bob when he was arrested. That day, Jamerson says he was handcuffed and forced to give Atlanta officers his Facebook password so they could post on his behalf. Two Atlanta officers were disciplined over how the arrest was handled, his attorney said.

“The City has reviewed the complaint filed by Bob Jamerson a/k/a “Baton Bob” in which he asserts baseless state and federal constitutional claims related to his June 26, 2013 arrest,” the City’s statement said. “The City will defend this matter vigorously and expects to prevail.”

Jamerson, 62, of Atlanta, is better known as Baton Bob, a baton-twirling, costume-wearing, dancing character he created.

The day he was arrested, Jamerson wanted to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to end the federal ban on same-sex marriage, his lawsuit states. Wearing a wedding dress, Baton Bob hit a Midtown street corner.

But his performance was halted by his arrest, and he was charged with two counts of simple assault and one count of obstruction against the officer, all misdemeanors. Those charges were later dropped.