Blast From The Past

Blast from the Past – Tony Patrick v. City of Chesapeake, et al…

Tasered Cyclist Tony Patrick Settles Excessive Force Lawsuit came up on my radar the other day – July 2010 – the last news blast on this case when we settled.

taser webpage

Tony Patrick and another younger rider were in to Chesapeake, Ohio – a Lawrence County deputy was sitting in a car in the library parking lot. They were riding side by side on a 2 lane, 25 mph road – they were ordered off the road, erroneously, by a deputy – a …um… verbal fracas… then ensued between Tony & the Deputy which gradually grew more profane as Tony debated the legality of the deputy’s order… the deputy then drove ahead, pulled the “Hawaii 5-0” move of sliding the car to a 45 degree stop in the road – he then got out & pulled his Taser – Tony pulled off into a parking lot & stopped – he was Tasered…twice… the first didn’t really “take” and the Deputy came after Tony with a baton. As Tony danced around the parking lot in cleats, keeping a $7000 racing bike between him and the deputy a 2nd officer from Chesapeake came up from behind and nailed him with the Taser – the second shot hit him behind and really nailed him, causing Tony to slam into the ground – he was cuffed… taken to jail… booked and charged with felonies and misdemeanors – he retained a good criminal lawyer and eventually had the criminal charges tossed out – we then filed an excessive force lawsuit in federal court –


Back in the late 1980’s I was fortunate to be involved in Russo v. city of Cincinnati – one of the very first cases in U.S. legal history in which the word “Taser” appeared. In researching the many other subsequent taser cases, I was not surprised to find that Tony was the ONLY Taser victim in legal case history to slam his head into the ground while wearing a helmet… this probably saved him from extremely serious head injuries.

Eventually, we took depositions of the responding officers in the civil suit – we learned… that the patrol car’s speedometer didn’t work – that the deputy was unfamiliar with “road patrol” issues and had never dealt with cyclists on the road, that evidence collection at the scene was…well… not up to snuff… we also saw the Taser logs and how often they used the Tasers -they claimed all the firings were “test firings” and not shooting “perps” but who knows…



We also learned that the incident may well have been captured on a cruiser cam but the “tape” was taken by the chief and put into a secret “evidence closet” in the chief’s office – a closet with no chain of custody record whatsoever – and the tape was probably taped over at some point – this was interesting because WAY before the lawsuit I filed an FOIA/Public Records request asking for cruiser cam video and was told there was none – Tony’s criminal lawyer did the same and got the same response… learning 2 yrs later in depositions that there WAS a tape was…well… intriguing to say the least…

Those depositions undoubtedly led to a favorable settlement… it took a few years, and some time and money to push through the litigation, but we got it done in the end… the city/county was embarrassed at all the Hoo Haa that erupted – the local paper just kept publishing stuff… and the story was voted one of the Top 10 stories of the year in its year end edition!

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