OPD takedown: Daniel Daley says he has 'deepest respect' for Orlando police
Daniel Daley, 85, made his first public comments today since his neck was broken in scuffle with an Orlando police officer.
By Bianca Prieto and Susan Jacobson | Orlando Sentinel
Posted 5:47 p.m. EST, December 2, 2010
Daniel Daley, the octogenarian whose neck was broken during a scuffle with an Orlando police officer, said today that he's feeling better and eager to go home.
"I'm really anxious to get going ... and get home with my little dog," Daley said in his first public comments since his September incident.
Daley, 85, made his statements today from the Hunter's Creek Nursing and Rehab Center.
He thanked doctors who repaired the fracture of the first vertebra and said he has no beef with law enforcement.
"I have the deepest respect for them (Orlando police) and for the Orange County Sheriff's Department," he said.
The World War II veteran was injured in September during a confrontation with an Orlando police officer that started after Daley discovered his car was being towed from a parking lot on North Orange Avenue.
He was upset that he had to pay the truck driver $50 to remove his car from the lift. Daley had been across the street at The Caboose bar.
Police say Daley was aggressive and belligerent to Officer Travis Lamont, who pushed him to the ground and handcuffed him.
Others say Lamont, 26, slammed Daley to the pavement on his head in a move called a "dynamic takedown."
Daley was placed in a medically induced coma for several weeks following the arrest to prevent further injury, his lawyer Mark NeJame said.
The Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office declined to press charges against Daley.
Lamont remains on active duty.
NeJame put the city on notice that Daley intends to file a civil lawsuit against the police department and the officer.
The attorney today said he plans to sue OPD in federal court.
Daley's attorneys showed an X-ray of Daley's head and spine, which were put back together with a plate, screws and other hardware.
Daley came to the rehab center in south Orange County three weeks ago and celebrated his 85th birthday here last month.
Daley said he hopes to recover enough to do some woodworking in his workshop and play golf. The widower lives alone with his Yorkie, Trixie.
Source: Orlando Sentinel