GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - A man has filed a federal lawsuit
against the Grand Junction police and fire departments, claiming he
was roughed up and arrested after he suffered an epileptic seizure
Jeff Orehek and his attorney, Lonn Heymann, also accused the
city of adopting a policy of "excessive use of force and
hog-tying" and said supervisors have failed to properly train
officers and firefighters how to deal with people who have suffered
According to the lawsuit, Orehek, 26, suffered a seizure that
lasted three or four minutes, and it continued after paramedics
arrived. He told medics he didn't want to be taken to the hospital,
then walked outside seeking "the protection and comfort of his pet
dogs" because he was overwhelmed by the number of strangers in his
He claims he was attacked by a number of officers when he walked
back inside and the assault continued even after he was handcuffed.
"The Grand Junction police officers treated Mr. Orehek as a
dangerous person engaged in criminal activity, rather than a
disabled person who was suffering from the aftermath of a grand mal
seizure and trying to cope with his disorientation and
discomfort," according to the lawsuit, which claims Orehek's civil
rights were violated.
City Attorney John Shaver declined to comment on the lawsuit,
except to note that the City Council recently passed a resolution
backing the actions of the firefighters and officers named in the
Orehek was taken to St. Mary's Hospital, where a doctor told
police the behavior was related to his seizure and persuaded
officers to remove the cuffs. Orehek, however, was arrested,
hog-tied at some point and taken to Mesa County Jail, the lawsuit
An arrest affidavit says police were sent to Orehek's house on a
report that he was out of control. Police said Orehek was
uncooperative with firefighters, who said they needed to take
Orehek into custody for medical reasons.
Police say Orehek yelled at firefighters, twice jostled a police
officer and resisted arrest. He was charged with resisting arrest,
obstructing a peace officer and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He pleaded guilty to the paraphernalia charge and he was ordered
to pay a $100 fine, according to court records.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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Thread: Grand Junction Lawsuit
03-30-2005, 02:32 AM #1
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04-04-2005, 12:51 AM #2
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Two things that will hopefully clear these guys: documentation and witnesses. I find it hard to believe that the GJFD does not have experience in dealing with post-dictal patients.
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