A deaf man who communicates with sign language was shaken by two Colorado officers for not understanding their orders, a lawsuit filed in federal court alleges.
Brady Mistic said he was knocked to the ground and beaten and electroshocked during an arrest in Idaho Springs, then was wrongfully sentenced to four months in prison despite trying to tell officers he couldn’t hear them.
The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, said Mistic was charged with putting up a stop sign in 2019. He then stopped into a laundromat and walked toward the business, unaware that officers Nicholas Hanning and Ellie Summers were following him.
“As Mr. Mistic got out of his car and walked past a dumpster between his vehicle and the police vehicle, towards the laundry door, he was blinded by the lights of the police car and/or a floodlight shone on by the officers,” the statement said. business suit. “He had no idea what was going on, what the police were doing, or whether the officers’ presence had anything to do with him.”
Mistic, who cannot lip read, tried to communicate with the officers with his hands, according to the lawsuit, but in vain. Harring then grabbed the plaintiff by the shirt and threw it to the ground, hitting his head on the concrete with no “warning or attempt to communicate,” the suit claimed.
“Defendant Hanning pinned Mr. Mistic on his back to the ground while Mr. Mistic held out his hands with his palms facing Defendant Hanning in an attempt to demonstrate that he meant no harm and did nothing to threaten the officer,” the document reads. . . “On the floor, Defendant Summers joined in and grabbed Mr. Mistic. … Defendant Summers pulled out her taser and drove through Mr. Mistic in amazement.”
Mistic is suing the officers and the city of Idaho Springs and the Clear Creek County Board of Commissioners, where he was imprisoned.
The department has defended the officers, claiming that Mistic approached a “clearly marked patrol car” with emergency lights on.
“The officers gave Mr. Mistic verbal orders to get back into his vehicle. It was later determined that Mr. Mistic was deaf, but this fact was not known to the officers during the first meeting,” officials wrote on the Idaho Springs Police website:.
“Officers then ordered Mr. Mistic to sit down. At one point, officers tried to control Mr. Mistic by handcuffing him for his unexplained actions,” the statement continued. “Mr. Mistic resisted the officers and a physical altercation ensued.”
Mistic was then looked at by doctors, charged with assaulting officers and resisting arrest, and taken to prison.
The lawsuit alleges that Hanning broke his leg or ankle while assaulting the deaf man, and filed charges “in an illusory attempt to cover up their wrongdoing”.
Court officials eventually dropped the charges after Mistic spent four months behind bars without an interpreter, according to the lawsuit.
“The incident was reviewed by former head Christian Malanka and the officers’ actions were deemed appropriate,” the department said, adding that his injuries were caused by “resistive actions”.
Mistic is seeking monetary compensation for “physical and emotional damage, pain and suffering, permanent scarring and economic damage”.