Lawsuit says police used stun gun on 78-year-old man - Albuquerque Journal

Lawsuit says police used stun gun on 78-year-old man

DENVER — A 79-year-old man who says he suffers from medical and emotional health issues has filed an excessive-force lawsuit alleging that a suburban Denver police officer threw him to the ground and used a stun gun on him causing severe pain and bleeding in 2020.

In the lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in Denver, Clayton Shriver said he was experiencing a “mental health episode and/or medical crisis” when Officers Michael Owen and Tyler Farson arrested him on charges of trespassing, obstructing a police officer and resisting arrest after he failed to leave a part of a McDonald’s inside a Walmart store in Westminster where the seating had been closed, The Denver Post reported.

According to the lawsuit, Shriver, 78 at the time, sat down because he felt ill while shopping and could not understand what McDonald’s employees were saying to him and began raising his voice, leading police to be called.

The Westminster Police Department released a statement Wednesday saying it did not receive an excessive-force complaint before Shriver filed a notice of his intent to sue, nearly a year after his arrest. The department also said Owen was trying to take Shriver into custody when Shriver resisted and kicked him while the two were on the ground.

According to the lawsuit, Shriver, who suffers from “multiple closed head injuries and traumatic brain injuries,” memory loss, hearing loss and a mood disorder, tried to explain to Owen that he was suffering from a medical condition, but Owen had trouble understanding him.

Shriver thought he was being asked to leave and when he stood up and tried to walk away, Owen grabbed him and threw him to the ground, the lawsuit said. Shriver then “stiffened up” and tried to roll over because of pain and Owen used a stun gun on him, the complaint said. After Shriver cursed at Owen and tried to remove the probes from his body, Farson arrived to help arrest Shriver and Owen used the stun gun again.

The lawsuit said Owen used excessive force, alleges Farson failed to intervene and that both committed false arrest. The lawsuit also alleges that Westminster failed to properly train and supervise its officers. It says that all charges against Shriver were dropped.

The police news release Wednesday said three independent, civilian witnesses refuted Shriver’s allegation of excessive force, and an independent civilian review board determined the officers “acted within policy and procedure.”

Both officers left the department in 2021, and the news release said their departures were unrelated to Shriver’s accusations.

A message left at the city attorney’s office was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Home » Around the Region » Lawsuit says police used stun gun on 78-year-old man


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Texas court spares man who killed girl, 11, from ...
Around the Region
Texas' top criminal appeals court on ... Texas' top criminal appeals court on Wednesday ordered a man convicted of killing an 11-year-old Fort Worth girl be removed from the state's death ...
2
Cops: 500,000 fentanyl pills seized in Arizona traffic stop
Around the Region
Two women were arrested after about ... Two women were arrested after about 500,000 fentanyl pills were found in an SUV pulled over for speeding on Interstate 10 in Arizona, police ...
3
Heightened wildfire threat prompts stricter restrictions
Around the Region
Arizona's six national forests and some ... Arizona's six national forests and some local governments and land management agencies are implementing stricter campfire and smoking restrictions because of the heightened wildfire ...
4
Border agency plans vehicle pursuit policy to raise safety
Around the Region
The head of U.S. Customs and ... The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday that he is developing a new policy for vehicle pursuits with an eye toward ...
5
Attorney: Police shot man seconds after order to raise ...
Around the Region
A lawyer for the family of ... A lawyer for the family of a 29-year-old Black man who was fatally shot last month by a Houston police officer said body camera ...
6
Search continues for Texas woman accused in cyclist's death
Around the Region
The search continued Tuesday for a ... The search continued Tuesday for a woman suspected in the fatal shooting of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson at an Austin home. Wilson, 25, ...
7
2 wildfires in southern, western Colorado fully contained
Around the Region
Two wildfires burning in southern and ... Two wildfires burning in southern and western Colorado have been fully contained. A fire that burned over 1,500 acres (2.3 square miles) near the ...
8
Woman sought in death of professional cyclist in Texas
Around the Region
Police were searching Monday for a ... Police were searching Monday for a woman suspected in the fatal shooting of a professional cyclist at an Austin home. The body of Anna ...
9
Police investigate shootings that wound 7 in Colorado
Around the Region
Police on Monday were investigating several ... Police on Monday were investigating several shootings in the Denver area and Colorado Springs that left seven people wounded. In Colorado Springs, two juveniles ...