Douglas Sellier was shot with a Taser inside his home after he tried to prevent police from taking his grandson from his daughter, who was allegedly prohibited from having contact with the boy under a Permanent Protection Order, according to city documents.
The incident happened June 2, 2009.
About 6 p.m., officers Steven Collins and Armando Newell, who has not been named in the lawsuit, went to Sellier’s mobile home to pick up Sellier’s grandson.
“Sellier refused to allow the officers to retrieve the child, claiming that the child’s father was a registered sex offender,” city documents state. “Sellier told the officers that he would ‘do what I have to do to defend my property and my grandchild.’”
Newell called for back-up, and officers Juan Flores, Felix Juliano, Alan Van’t Land and Scott Acey, who also has not been named in the lawsuit, went to Sellier’s home.
“Sellier did not move out of the way of the door to the mobile home when asked,” documents state. “Officers held Sellier’s arms and moved him away from the door. Sellier did not resist at first, but then he stiffened and tried to pull away.”
An officer “struggled to control” Sellier, who was forced to the ground, documents state.
Police tried to grab Sellier’s arms, but he pulled them under his chest, documents state.
“An officer struck Sellier on the back and instructed him to surrender his arms for handcuffing, but Sellier still refused,” documents state. “Officer Flores then Tasered Sellier on his back.”
After he was hit, Sellier brought an arm around his back, “but when he put it there, he grabbed the Taser and began resisting again,” documents state. “Officer Flores then Tasered Sellier on his hip area. Sellier grabbed the Taser there, too.”
After he was handcuffed, Sellier complained he couldn’t breathe and was taken to Memorial Hospital, where he was cited for obstructing a police officer, documents state.
In his lawsuit, Sellier claims police used excessive force and that the city failed to adequately train and supervise its police officers, among other allegations.
The city’s Civil Action Investigation Committee is recommending to the City Council that the City Attorney’s Office be authorized to defend the four officers named in the lawsuit.
The matter is scheduled for today’s City Council meeting.