Man, 84, to Sue After Neck Broken in Police Takedown - State Attorney's Office Declines To File Charges Against Daniel Daley


Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Man, 84, to Sue After Neck broken in Police takedownORLANDO, Fla. -- An 84-year-old man who suffered a broken neck during a confrontation with a police officer will file a lawsuit against the Orlando Police Department, his attorney said on Wednesday.

Daniel Daley Jr. suffered the injuries Sept. 18 in a confrontation outside a downtown Orlando bar with Officer Travis Lamont, who was investigating an incident between Daley and a tow-truck driver.

Daley, a World War II veteran, remains in a medically induced coma after two surgeries, said his attorney, Mark NeJame.

NeJame held a news conference on Wednesday shortly after the state attorney's office announced that it will not file criminal charges against Daley.

NeJame said his client will be suing for damages and invasion of privacy, and he has also called for a grand jury investigation into the incident.

NeJame would not give a dollar amount, but says they are suing for the maximum amount allowed by law.

Daley's son and daughter-in-law were present at the news conference. "For something like this to happen to my father is just out of sorts," the victim's son, Greg Daley said.

Four witnesses were also there. They all say what happened to Daley is different from Lamont's account of the events.

"I just can't believe what I saw and I witnessed," Sean Hill said. "He went straight down on his head."

NeJame described Daley's recovery as touch-and-go.

According to police, Daley was resisting arrest and hit his head on the pavement after Lamont flipped him to the ground to handcuff him. According to the police report, Daley was aggressive and placed his hands on the officer's neck.

"I cannot for the life of me understand how you can flip an 84-year-old man over your hip, break his neck and not think that somebody did something wrong," NeJame said after the incident.

Orlando Police Chief Val Demings last week said the maneuver, known as a dynamic takedown, that was used by Lamont needs to be modified.

"There's always room for adjustment. We want to make sure we take our time and do it right because whatever modifications are made to the policy, we want them to work in the favor of everybody," Demings said.

Demings said Lamont used the takedown method as it was taught to him in training. Every OPD officer receives tutelage on the maneuver, and the next training session is scheduled for October.

It's not known if any modifications to the dynamic takedown will be in effect by then.

A seven-member police panel is reviewing the case before likely passing its findings on to internal affairs.

According to OPD policy, the officer was within his rights to use the takedown, but the same policy also says the officer must consider the person's age, sex and size.