A Missouri truck driver who was tased in his own home by a police officer delivering a parking ticket has filed a lawsuit in federal court.
Hermann, Missouri, based-truck driver Wayne Gerling filed suit on Friday, alleging that police violated his Constitutional rights during an arrest that started over a parking ticket.
Parking Ticket Turns Into Violent Arrest That Leaves Trucker Injured: Lawsuit
The lawsuit is the result of an incident that occurred on November 18, 2012, at Gerling’s home. Police officer Matthew Waite reportedly received a complaint about a tractor trailer illegally parked at Gerling’s residence — even though Gerling says that he had had been parking his truck at his home for years. Rather than placing the parking ticket on Gerling’s truck, Waite knocked on the door of Gerling’s home.
After Gerling answered the door and Waite asked for his driver’s license, tensions quickly escalated. Within a few seconds, Waite told Gerling, “Alright, come out here, you’re going to jail.”
Gerling responded, “You get the f*&# out of my house.”
Waite then forced his way into Gerling’s home and tased him as several family members looked on.
You can view body cam video of the incident below.
Gerling’s suit alleges that he was injured during the arrest and unable to go back to work for months.
Gerling was charged with resisting arrest.
When Gerling was set to stand trial before a jury for the resisting arrest charge in July of 2017 in the Circuit Court of Osage County, Waite failed to show up. Without the prosecution’s key witness available to testify, Associate Judge Robert Schollmeyer was forced to dismiss the case, according to a report in the Hermann Advertiser Courier.
Trucker Claims Cop Used Excessive Force, Violated Constitutional Rights
After video of the arrest was made public, Waite was forced to step down because of the uproar, according to Gerling’s lawsuit.
From the lawsuit:
“Although he already had all the information he needed to issue the ticket, Defendant Waite aggressively attempted to procure Mr. Gerling’s driver’s license. Defendant Waite intruded into Mr. Gerling’s home, reached around Mr. Gerling’s son-in-law, and grabbed Mr. Gerling by the wrist.
Defendant Waite never asked Mr. Gerling for his name or contact information before attacking him. In response to Defendant Waite’s unprovoked attack, Mr. Gerling retreated inside his home, followed by Defendant Waite who immediately drew his Taser.
As Mr. Gerling attempted to retreat from the attack, Defendant Waite fired his Taser, striking Mr. Gerling in front of his son-in-law and 9-year-old grandson, forcing painful and debilitating electric shock through Mr. Gerling’s body and causing injury to Mr. Gerling.”
Gerling’s lawsuit argues that he was arrested using excessive force and without probable cause and that his Constitutional rights were violated.
Several Facebook users have expressed shock and dismay over the way that the arrest was handled.