Man Gets Choked After Trying to Pay Ticket With Pennies: Lawyer
A Michigan man is filing a federal lawsuit against a pair of court officers who he says choked him after he tried to pay a $10 parking ticket in pennies.
Worse yet, the man ended up passing out and defecating on himself as a result, a psychological injury that his lawyer says will be long-lasting.
Anthony Sevy, 33, got a parking ticket in Royal Oak, Fox 2 reported. He went to Royal Oak’s 44th District Court in February to pay the ticket, but was told there would be a $1.75 processing fee if he paid with a credit card.
The clerk also said coin payments were accepted as long as they were rolled, according to the lawsuit, reported The Detroit News.
Sevy wasn’t happy and left the court. He came back later with a bag of penny rolls intending to use the coins to pay the ticket as a symbolic protest, court documents say. The clerk refused to accept the money.
Sevy got into a verbal altercation with the security officers after he was asked to leave. The exchange was captured on security cameras.
One officer can be seen near Sevy’s neck just as he is about to leave the building. The officers then appear to pull Sevy back and down to the floor as another officer assists. This is when Sevy lost consciousness and defecated himself, his lawyer, Jonathan Marko said.
“As he was leaving the courthouse with his back to the officer, the court officer began to choke him out, grabbing him, brought him to the ground. Mr. Sevy passed out and defecated himself,” he told Fox2.
“I don’t think that in the everyday course of business, we poop our pants or go around defecating ourselves.”
After the incident, Sevy was arrested. Police charged Sevy with assaulting or obstructing a police officer, and disturbing the peace. Sevy pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor, in a plea agreement, and the other charges were dropped. The obstruction, assault charges were a felony offense.
“I don’t think anyone paying in penny rolls, whether it’s a preferred thing to do for a court clerk, warrants this type of … assaultive behavior and violation of constitutional rights,” Marko said.
The city of Royal Oak has not been served with a lawsuit yet, city attorney David Gillam told Fox2. But Gillam is aware of the case—the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office investigated it.
Sevy’s lawyer says the video clearly shows that his client was a victim and didn’t merely suffer physical injuries.
“I think the more profound and long-lasting injury is the psychological injuries he’s suffering as a result of this. He was supposed to be in a safe place,” he said.
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