ROCKFORD, Ill. (CN) - Small-town cops Tasered and beat a man for telling his friend she could refuse to take a field sobriety test, then falsely accused him of assaulting an officer, the man claims in court.
Craig Clark sued the Village of Pecatonica, its police Officer Douglas Hendriksen, Winnebago County and Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Broullard, in Federal Court.
Pecatonica, pop. 2,200, is west of Rockford, in Northern Illinois, near the Wisconsin line.
Clark claims he was leaving a bar in Durand, west of Rockford, with his friend Colleen when Deputy Broullard stopped their car.
While Broullard ran Colleen's identification and called for backup, Clark says, he went back into the bar.
"Plaintiff was standing on the rear porch of the bar when defendant-Officer Broullard started administering the field sobriety test to Colleen.
"Plaintiff yelled out to Colleen that she could refuse the field sobriety test.
"When plaintiff told Colleen to refuse the test, defendant-Officer Broullard yelled at Plaintiff.
"At this time, defendant-Officer Hendriksen approached plaintiff on the porch and pointed his Taser at plaintiff.
"Plaintiff was not acting aggressively toward the officers when defendant-Officer Hendriksen pointed his Taser at him.
"Defendant-Officer Hendriksen then told plaintiff that he was under arrest.
"Plaintiff responded by asking, 'Really?'
"Defendant-Officer Hendriksen then fired his Taser at plaintiff," the complaint states.
Hendriksen then tackled him and struck him "10-12 times with his asp," Clark says.
"Defendant-Officer Broullard did not stop defendant-Officer Hendriksen from hitting plaintiff with the asp.
"Defendant-Officer Hendriksen had dropped his Taser.
"Upon information and belief, defendant-Officer Hendriksen told defendant- Officer Broullard that plaintiff had taken his Taser.
"Plaintiff did not take the Taser.
"Defendant-Officer Broullard struck plaintiff in the face with his fists and elbow," according to the complaint.
Clark says Hendrikson then Tasered him again.
He seeks punitive damages for unreasonable seizure, excessive force, and failure to intervene.
He is represented by Louis Meyer with Meyer & Kiss in Chicago.
Pecatonica has not reported a murder in more than a decade, according to city-data.com.