Westminster police threw a 78-year-old man to the ground at a Walmart store and then tasered him to the point of “significant bleeding,” according to the man in a federal excessive force lawsuit filed against the city and two police officers. 2020 incident.
Clayton Shriver, in his lawsuit filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Denver, says he went through an “episode of mental health and/or medical crisis” when Westminster police officers Michael Owen and Tyler Farson brutally arrested him on charges of trespassing and obstruction of police work. officer and resisting arrest at Walmart.
According to the lawsuit, all charges against Shriver, now 79 and with no previous convictions, were eventually dropped.
Westminster Police spokeswoman Cherie Spotke declined to say Tuesday whether Owen and Farson would remain with the police.
“We are aware of the upcoming litigation, but due to the fact that it is pending, we cannot comment on this matter,” Spotke said.
The city did not respond to a message from The Denver Post asking for comment on the lawsuit.
Shriver’s lawsuit comes four months after Loveland agreed to pay $3 million to settle an excessive force lawsuit filed by the family of Karen Garner, a 73-year-old woman with dementia who was brutally arrested by police in that city in 2020 after how she walked. from Walmart with unpaid items for $13.88. The Loveland case caused a significant outcry and led to criminal prosecutions of former officers and a third-party investigation by the police department.
The Westminster incident took place on May 15, 2020, at a McDonald’s restaurant inside a Walmart at 7155 Sheridan Boulevard. According to the lawsuit, Shriver sat in a section of McDonald’s that was closed to seating because he became ill while shopping. According to the complaint, McDonald’s employees told Shriver that he needed to buy something or leave, but Shriver could not understand what the employees were saying and subsequently began raising his voice.
Shriver attempted to seek medical attention but was unable to speak clearly at the time due to his condition as he suffers from medical and emotional health issues such as “multiple closed head injuries and traumatic brain injuries”, memory loss, loss hearing and mood disorder, according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, after police officer Owen was called by Walmart employees, Shriver tried to explain that he was suffering from an illness. According to the complaint, Owen had difficulty understanding Shriver, who spoke loudly.
Shriver thought he was ordered to leave, and when he got up and tried to get out of McDonald’s, Owen grabbed him and “thrown him hard to the ground,” according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, when Owen tried to handcuff Shriver, the 78-year-old “tensed up and tried to roll over” due to pain. Owen then used a taser to shock Shriver in the stomach and thigh, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit states that Shriver cursed Owen and tried to remove the probes from his body, after which Farson arrived on the scene and began assisting Owen in arresting Shriver by helping to get Shriver’s hands behind his back. According to the lawsuit, Owen again used the taser, hitting Shriver in the back and buttocks, causing “severe pain and bleeding” where the probes hit.
According to the lawsuit, after the second use of the stun gun, Owen and Farson handcuffed Shriver before calling medical personnel to examine Shriver. According to the complaint, after being examined by paramedics, Shriver was taken by ambulance to the hospital for further examination.
According to the lawsuit, Shriver continues to receive medical treatment for injuries he sustained “as a result of the use of excessive force” by Owen and Farson.
The lawsuit is directed against Owen with allegations of excessive force and malicious harassment, it is claimed Farson did not intervene and both are said to have made a false arrest. The suit also includes a claim for failure to educate/supervise the City of Westminster.