DENVER (AP) – The trial began Monday for a Denver police officer who appeared as a contestant on “American Gladiators” in 2008. She faces a civil trial in a federal lawsuit involving allegations of excessive use of force.
A lawsuit alleges that officer Vickie Ferrari roughed up the manager of a Grease Monkey and placed handcuffs on him so tight they caused nerve damage. The manager, David Krause, in June 2007 had asked Ferrari to move her police cruiser that was blocking traffic.
The jury was told he said, “Excuse me officer, you’re blocking our shop, killing our business.”
Employee Dustin Tenney saw the incident and wasn’t aware it a female officer who was involved.
“It kind of escalated a little bit and he told him to turn around and he put him against the car and found a gun in his pocket I believe it was, or in his holster,” Tenney said.
But what happened next is what’s at issue. Krause’s attorney claims Ferrari was “totally out of control, using the ‘F’ word several times” and purposely made the handcuffs too tight when arresting Krause, causing permanent injury.
“She claims he resisted, but she never charged him with resisting, so that will be part of the trial,” Krause’s attorney David Lane said.
Ferrari’s attorney told the court she acted reasonably and responsibly.
Neither internal affairs nor the city’s independent police monitor were able substantiate the manager’s claims.
Another federal lawsuit alleging excessive force is pending against Denver officer Abbegayle Dorn, another contestant on the NBC reality show.
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