- A federal lawsuit alleges that an 80-year-old Kansas man was chased and tased for driving 3 mph over the speed limit.
- The Missouri lawsuit is seeking $250,000 in damages and equal amount of punitive damages.
- Police fired the taser without warning, although the stun gun warns against using it on the elderly.
An 80-year-old Kansas man was pursued by police and tased by a deputy — all for driving 3 mph over the speed limit, a federal lawsuit claims.
John J. Sigg sued Monday, naming Allen County Sheriff Bryan J. Murphy and former Deputy Joseph Stotler. Sigg’s lawsuit seeks $250,000 in actual damages and an equal amount in punitive damages.
Murphy and Stotler do not yet have attorneys. An email message left Wednesday with the sheriff wasn’t immediately returned. No phone listing for Stotler could be found and it wasn’t immediately clear when, or why, he left the department.
On April 16, 2021, Sigg was clocked by an Iola, Kansas, officer going 38 mph in a 35 mph speed zone. A pursuit began. The lawsuit said Sigg was unaware police were following him even though law enforcement vehicles from other departments joined the pursuit in an area that is about 100 miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri.
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Sigg drove to a car lot operated by his family. When he got out of his car, officers surrounded him and two officers from nearby Chanute, Kansas, drew their guns, the lawsuit said.
“Sigg looked at them quizzically and raised his hands,” the lawsuit stated. That’s when Stotler demanded that Sigg get on the ground and without warning, used the Taser on him, even though the maker of the stun gun had warned against using it on the elderly, the lawsuit stated.
“At no time after exiting his vehicle did Sigg make a hostile motion or make physical or verbal threats,” the lawsuit stated. “There was no risk that the 80-year-old man was going to run from the officers and they had no concern that Sigg had a firearm.”
The lawsuit said Sigg began mumbling in a way that was “hard to understand,” and told an officer he didn’t feel right. Sigg was treated at an emergency room.