Man files lawsuit against FWPD officer for hitting him with patrol car

A man who was hit by a Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) officer’s patrol car in December 2023 is suing the officer and the city for negligence and excessive force.

The incident

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff, John Doe, was walking on the sidewalk near the intersection of Main Street and Clinton Street on December 21, 2023, around 10 p.m., when he was struck by the patrol car driven by Officer Jane Smith. The impact caused Doe to suffer severe injuries, including a broken leg, a fractured skull, and internal bleeding.

The lawsuit claims that Smith was driving at a high speed, without activating her siren or lights, and failed to yield to pedestrians. It also alleges that Smith did not stop to render aid to Doe, but instead continued to pursue a suspect in another vehicle.

The investigation

The FWPD launched an internal investigation into the incident, and issued Smith a traffic infraction for failure to yield to a pedestrian. However, the lawsuit argues that this was not enough to hold Smith accountable for her actions, and that she should have faced criminal charges.

Man files lawsuit against FWPD officer for hitting him with patrol car

The lawsuit also accuses the FWPD of covering up the incident, and failing to provide adequate medical care and compensation to Doe. It states that Doe was taken to a hospital by a bystander, and that the FWPD did not contact him or his family until several days later.

The lawsuit

The lawsuit, filed on January 20, 2024, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, seeks unspecified damages for Doe’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. It also demands a jury trial, and a declaratory judgment that Smith violated Doe’s constitutional rights.

The lawsuit names Smith, the FWPD, and the city of Fort Wayne as defendants, and alleges that they are liable for negligence, battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The lawsuit also claims that Smith’s conduct was part of a pattern and practice of excessive force and misconduct by the FWPD, and that the city failed to train, supervise, and discipline its officers.

The response

The FWPD and the city of Fort Wayne have not yet responded to the lawsuit, or issued any public statements about the incident. Smith remains on active duty, pending the outcome of the investigation and the lawsuit.

Doe’s attorney, John Smith, said that his client hopes to get justice and accountability for what happened to him, and to prevent similar incidents from happening to others.

“He was just walking on the sidewalk, minding his own business, when he was hit by a speeding patrol car. He could have died that night. He deserves to be compensated for his injuries, and to see the officer who did this to him face the consequences of her actions,” Smith said.

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