Orlando Police Sued For Breaking 85-Year-Old's Neck

By Dave D'Marko
Posted Thursday, May 05, 2011 9:52 PM

ORLANDO -- Then 84-year-old Daniel Daley was arguing with a tow truck driver who was trying to take his car from a spot across from an Orlando bar when police were called.

Witnesses say Daley put his hand on Orlando Officer Travis Lamont's shoulder, and Lamont took him to the ground forcefully, ultimately breaking his neck.

He was handcuffed, and then taken to the hospital where he spent days in a medically-induced coma.

Before filing the lawsuit, attorney Mark NeJame gave the city, and officer six months to work out a settlement out of court

"We think, in this particular incident, the officer was incredibly negligent, and there needs to be compensation," NeJame said. "You can't just go out, and break people's necks, and not think there's going to be consequences to those actions."

The suit argues Lamont acted with malice and reckless disregard, and NeJame says by the police department defending the arm bar takedown technique, they are liable too.

He says the suit shouldn't be seen as a sweeping indictment of the police force, but says in this case they were wrong.

Now an 85-year-old World War 2 veteran with no criminal history has a metal plate in the back of his neck.

"It's limited his mobility, it's limited his quality of life, it is painful and it's a man walking around with a broken neck, so one can only imagine," NeJame said. "But the survived that in, and of itself is an enormous feat."