A Richmond-area man has turned the tables on local mug-shot magazine Gotcha, listing the weekly paper's publishers as defendants in a defamation lawsuit.
A sister publication of The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Gotcha consists of rows of booking photographs of recent arrestees, often arranged by such categories as hairstyle and celebrity look-alikes.
In a lawsuit filed late last month in Richmond Circuit Court, Dwain G. Tolliver charges that he was wrongly included in the April 28, 2012, issue. He seeks $250,000 in damages in the lawsuit, which says Gotcha printed his picture and listed him as a "recent arrestee charged with assault and battery." Those allegations were "false and defamatory," the suit says.
In addition to listing as defendants the paper's past publisher, Media General, and its current publisher, World Media Enterprises, the suit names the city of Richmond and former Police Chief Bryan Norwood as defendants.
The suit alleges that the city and Norwood provided "false and defamatory information on Tolliver to the Gotcha Paper." Then, according to the suit, Gotcha "recklessly and maliciously" published the information, failing to first "ascertain the facts on which the statements were based."
Tolliver's lawyer didn't respond to a request for comment. Richmond police, the city attorney and a spokeswoman for Media General declined to comment on the suit. A spokesman for World Media Enterprises, which bought Richmond Media Group last year, didn't immediately return a call requesting comment.