(CBS) — A Blue Island police officer used a stun gun on the victim of a hit-and-run crash, and the victim says the incident changed his life forever.
CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports on allegations of excessive force
Donald Flores needed help after a June 2012 hit-and-run incident. Instead, he says, police caused him further injury.
“I just wanted to go home to basically die, where I felt more at peace,” Flores says
Dazed and covered in blood, he was walking home when he came upon Blue Island Police who had been called to do a well-being check on him.
“The first two officers, they did the right thing,” Flores says.
But then he encountered Sgt. Schultz. Flores says the sergeant screamed at him, “`Are you out of your effin’ mind? You’re bleeding.’”
Stunned, Flores says he yelled back and then it escalated. When the sergeant threatened to use a stun gun on him, Flores said he implored him not to because he has an electronic spinal device to treat a previous injury to his hand.
When the stun gun was used, Flores says it caused a seizure. “When I was seizing they told me, ‘Stop it. Quit resisting,’” he says.
The attorney for Blue Island, Patrick Ward, tells a different story. He says Flores was the aggressor and shoved the sergeant with two hands, causing him to stumble backward.
He says Flores didn’t tell officers about the electronic device until after the stun gun was used.
“Their actions were justified,” Ward says.
Flores’ attorney, Tim Fiscella, says his client was incapable of harming anyone because he had the disability and he had been injured from the crash that night.
There are also questions about how the police department handled this case. When Bailey asked Ward what kind of internal investigation was done after the incident, he answered: “There was no additional investigation.”
CBS 2 called a handful of other police departments, including Chicago, and each requires an internal review after the use of a stun gun, to make sure it is justified.
Sources tell CBS 2 Blue Island police did not follow their own policy of documenting the use of force — a step that would’ve triggered an internal investigation. Ward did not return CBS 2’s calls about this detail.
On the night of the incident, police officers arrested and charged Flores with resisting arrest, battery and assault, but Flores was cleared of all charges. He is now suing the Blue Island Police Department and is hoping they re-examine their stun-gun policies.
Flores says this whole experience has scarred him. “I break down a lot,” he says.