A 14 year old boy was viciously assaulted in what amounted to little more than a misunderstanding in 2005. The city of South Bend settled a lawsuit filed by the boy and his father for $150,000 this week, no doubt a drop in the bucket for the trauma suffered by this child.
According to the South Bend Tribune, the boy was walking to a friend’s house with a toy gun in hand when a police officer stopped him, believing the weapon to be real. The boy followed the officer’s instructions and was quickly shoved to the ground by the cop, who put his knee in the youth’s back.
The child took advantage of the officer’s distraction and ran away while the cop radioed for back up in pursuit of an “armed white male”, not stating the child was no longer in possession of the “gun”.
Police caught the child and tasered him. A police dog was released on him who cornered the boy, causing him to climb on to a parked car. The dog tore into the child’s thigh and foot before dragging him down from the car. He was tasered two more times before the incident was over.
It was only after a female officer on the scene stated she was taking him to the hospital, seeing his leg “spurting blood”. The child spent 5 days in the hospital and another 6 months in therapy. His foot is said to be permanently deformed from the dog.
What began as a child going over to a friends to “play guns” with toys quickly ended in a horrific experience. While this is an extreme example, it does show how quickly things can go wrong when dealing with the police.
Even if you believe the police are wrong for stopping and questioning you, the safest thing for you to do is obey their orders and let your defense attorney help you sort it out later. Otherwise, you could end up facing additional criminal charges and the risk of injury.
A misunderstanding with police can even lead to criminal charges where none are warranted and I have met many clients who believe this was the case with their own situation.
Whether you are charged with disorderly conduct or resisting arrest, you need an assertive defense lawyer on your side to ensure your rights are protected. Contact us today for a consultation and some helpful advice.