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Attorney claims client was injured by Tell City officer
TELL CITY - A tort-claim notice sent by a local attorney last week alleges a Tell City police officer used excessive force during an April search of a home, using an electric stun gun on his client without provocation.
The notice was sent to county commissioners by Tell City attorney S. Rod Acchiardo but names Tell City Police Department and Patrolman Roger Smith, not the county, as parties to the claim. The document threatens to seek legal action against the city and the officer to obtain compensation.
County attorney Chris Goffinet said he wasn't sure why the county had been mailed the notice, which was dated Oct. 2 and mailed to the attention of Goffinet and the county's three commissioners.
"I'm completely mystified why we have this," Goffinet said at Monday's meeting of commissioners.
The notice of tort claim alleges Jarrod Scarboro had to seek medical care in an emergency room after Smith used a stun gun while Scarboro was sleeping on a couch inside his father's house. Police had a warrant to search the home and were allowed inside the residence by Michael Scarboro, Jarrod's father, the claim states. The stun devices are shaped like a gun and fire metal prongs attached to wires. The weapons deliver electrical charges that paralyze muscles.
The notice, which seeks $50,000 in compensation for damages and injuries, alleges Scarboro was not resisting officers and was half asleep when officers arrived.
Asked Tuesday why county commissioners are listed on the notice, Acchiardo said he didn't want to comment until an investigation has been completed, but did say the Tell City Police Department is the only government agency involved.
Mayor Barbara Ewing said Tuesday she was not aware of a tort-claim notice against the city. She was given a copy but could not be reached for comment Wednesday.