Kannapolis Man’s Lawsuit Accuses Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office of North Carolina Personal Injury

January 19, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Dale Cook is suing the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office for the North Carolina personal injuries he claims that he sustained after he was Tasered. Cook, who fell from a tree while officers apprehended him, says he fractured his spine during the incident and he now cannot walk. Also named as defendants in the complaint are Cabarrus County Sheriff Brad Riley, deputy Jason Thomas, and unnamed deputies.

On April 19, 2010, the Kannapolis man and his wife Tammy got into a domestic dispute at their residence. Tammy then went to the sheriff’s office and gave a statement claiming that Dale had bumped her during the altercation.

Meantime, Dale climbed into a tree stand, which was about 15 to 20 feet off the ground, in their backyard. When deputies arrived to follow-up on Tammy’s statement, they went to the tree stand and asked Dale to come down. When he refused—he claims that he told them he was unarmed and that he did not act threateningly toward anyone—Deputy Thomas Tasered him without warning. Dale fell from the tree. He says that he is now confined to a wheelchair for life.

Meantime, the sheriff’s office is disputing Dale’s account. An official report says that he had a knife and was trying to hurt himself. The report also claims that although Thomas did activate his Taser, the device did not hit Dale and that the latter got hurt because he chose to jump from the tree stand.

Excessive Use of Police Force
Anytime authorities must apprehend someone, it is important that they do not use excessive force or act in a manner that could cause North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death. When negligence, North Carolina police brutality, carelessness, recklessness, or inexperience contributes to causing injury to a suspect, a defendant, or an innocent bystander, the victim may have grounds for an injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, not everyone knows this. Often, the injured person doesn’t even realize that his/her rights have been violated.

Man sues sheriff over Taser use, Charlotte Observer, January 18, 2011

Sheriff: Deputy Did Not Stun Man With Taser, WSOCTV, May 5, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office

After the Zap: Taser Injuries and How to Treat Them, National Commission on Correctional Healthcare


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