12/7/2017Tasered Motorist Sues Ohio Town
Motorist sues Euclid, Ohio police after he is tasered and pepper sprayed for pulling into a driveway to make a phone call.
Motorist Lamar Wright wants compensation from the city of Euclid, Ohio after he was ripped out of his automobile and tasered after he had pulled into a driveway to use his cell phone. In a lawsuit filed last week, Wright says he was maliciously charged with resisting arrest, obstructing officers and trespassing. All the charges were ultimately dropped because, he says, he did nothing wrong.
On November 4, 2016, Wright pulled into a driveway to call his girlfriend. From his perspective, he saw two unidentified men approaching from either side of his rental car. The one wearing a Cleveland Indians baseball cap was yelling at him while yanking his passenger side door. The other came up on the driver's side. Wright put the car in reverse, fearing the worst.
It turns out the men were Euclid Police Officers Kyle Flagg and Vashon Williams, who saw Wright turn into the residential driveway, allegedly without signaling. They were not in uniform, but they had badges hanging from a chain around their neck.
"Shut the car off," Officer Flagg said after opening the driver's side door, his gun trained on Wright.
Wright put his hands in the air, then shut off the car. As he did so, Officer Flagg grabbed Wright's left arm and pulled it behind his back.
"You're hurting my arm," Wright cried.
Officer Flagg yelled that he wanted to see Wright's hand. Wright was recovering from digestive track surgery performed two weeks earlier, which meant he had to use a colostomy bag. Wright feared the officer's yanking would damage that bag, but before he could explain, he was blasted by a taser gun. Officer Williams then shot pepper spray into his face. Wright was pulled and thrown face down into the grass.
"Why the [expletive] were you reaching like that?" asked Officer Flagg.
Wright explained that he was reaching for his colostomy bag.
"No, dude, you were reaching with your right hand. I don't know if you're getting ready to shoot me or what, man."
As Wright was handcuffed and forced to sit in the back of the rental SUV while it was being searched, Officer Flagg began coughing violently from the pepper spray.
"Dude, don't go over there, it's worse," Officer Flagg warned his partner.
After finding no contraband, another officer arrived at the scene.
"He's done absolutely nothing?" the officer asked.
"I'm fighting with the guy in the car, what do you want me to say?" Officer Flagg responded.
Wright was taken to jail where he was subjected to a full body x-ray. No contraband was found. After being detained for over five hours, he was released on bail. Wright seeks compensation for pain and suffering, along with the $1000 in damage done to his rental car from the pepper spray.