IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The man who was tased by an Idaho Springs police officer filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday. Officer Nicholas Hanning was fired and is facing assault charges for the May 30 incident involving Michael Clark.
Clark, 75, is claiming violations of his civil rights under both the federal and Colorado constitutions by Hanning, another officer and their supervisor Cpl. Sonnenberg. He is also suing the City of Idaho Springs for their unconstitutional practices and polices regarding use of force as well as ongoing failures to supervise and train officers to prevent those catastrophic events.
Hanning said Clark was armed with a sword-like weapon and refused to drop it on May 30. Images from Hanning’s body-worn camera show Clark had put down the weapon before he was tased. And Clark’s lawyer claims Hanning also choked, kicked and punched him.
Clark’s lawyer says the assault “caused him heart complications, followed by a stroke, followed by carotid surgery on his neck where he was choked, followed by a burst appendix.”
Hanning’s arrest affidavit was released last week and included images from his bodycam and the camera worn by a second officer.
Clark’s lawyer, Sarah Schielke of The Life & Liberty Law Office, says earlier that day, Clark put American flags on the graves of fallen soldiers buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
“He would end the day tased, tackled, kicked, and choked by Idaho Springs Police officers while he was unarmed and unclothed, inside his own apartment,” Schielke stated.
She said that six weeks after the encounter, Clark remained hospitalized and in poor health.
Hanning faces one charge of third degree assault on an at-risk adult, which is a class 6 felony.