Colorado man with cerebral palsy sues Castle Rock police officers from a 2022 tasing and arrest

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A Colorado man has filed a lawsuit against three Castle Rock police officers over a 2022 incident where he was shocked with a taser and arrested after a traffic stop over an allegedly expired registration.

The lawsuit names Officers Jacob Coyle, Paul Longuevan and Chad Stoneking as defendants.

Prior to stopping Hayden Graham, one of the officers is heard on bodyworn camera mocking Graham's speech, which is a result of his cerebral palsy, his attorneys say. The 14-page lawsuit was filed last week in Douglas County Court, accuses officers of lying about the events surrounding the arrest and seeks a jury trial, compensation for Graham and for the officers to be held liable for excessive force.

The arrest in question occurred on Dec. 7, 2022 near Prairie Hawk Drive. The lawsuit says that officers Coyle and Longuevan frequently interacted with Graham on their patrols. The suit also says those officers knew Graham had cerebral palsy, which impacts his speech and physical abilities.

The officers say they believed Graham's motorhome's registration was expired and stopped him. During the approximately 30-minute interaction, the officers didn't appear to fear for their own safety, the lawsuit reads.

Due to his cerebral palsy, Graham has difficulty placing his hands behind his back, which the officers didn't ask him to do in the first place, the lawsuit alleges, yet Graham "never moved and never engaged in any action which any person could believe was dangerous or assaultive."

The officers accused Graham of being combative in their reports, with Longuevan saying Graham was "squaring off" with officers and Coyle writing that Graham "took a fighting stance."

They took him to the ground while shouting, "stop resisting," and then shocked him with a taser.

He was arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer, resisting arrest, and several charges related to the insurance and registration on his RV. He pled guilty to driving under restraint and the other charges were dismissed, and he was ordered to pay $154 in fines.

"This case is about what happens when the police fail to communicate and instead jump to force," Graham's attorney Milo Schwab told CBS News Colorado. "They knew Hayden was disabled and that he posed no risk to them. But they took him to the ground and tased him instead."

When reached for comment, a Castle Rock Police Department spokesperson said the department doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Last year, the department was sued by a man who alleged excessive force when a police K9 bit him while he was handcuffed. That case was also brought against the department by Schwab.

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