BALTIMORE (CN) - When an architect crashed his car while suffering a diabetic reaction on the way home from Bible study class, state and county police pepper sprayed him in the face and clubbed and Tasered him to death, his wife claims in court.
Linda Johnson sued the Maryland State Police, Baltimore County Police, their top commanders and six officers who allegedly beat and Tasered to death Carl D. Johnson on May 27, 2010.
Johnson suffered a diabetic attack sometime after 8:15 p.m. that night, after calling a friend to tell him he was leaving his Bible class, according to the complaint in Baltimore County Court.
He suffered a diabetic attack, crashed on the I-795, and his car came to rest against the guardrail in the median near the merger with I-695.
According to the complaint, when State Trooper Davon Parker arrived and tapped on the window, and Johnson managed to lower the window, Parker pepper sprayed him in the face.
Johnson then got out of his car and Parker clubbed him at least once in the knee. Defendant Officer Loss (fnu) then arrived and whacked Johnson at least twice with his club, the complaint states.
Baltimore County Police Officer Nicholas Wolferman then arrived, whacked Johnson "at least three times" with his own baton, then he and Officer Loss "grabbed Mr. Johnson and threw him over the guardrail," Johnson's widow says.
She claims the very first officer on the scene knew or should have known that her husband was suffering from a medical problem.
Nonetheless, after throwing him over the guardrail, the cops applied pressure points to his ears and armpits, she says. Three more cops arrived, including Baltimore County Officer Andrew O'Neill, who Tasered Johnson twice. Officer Loss then punched him in the face and the six officers managed to handcuff him, the widow says.
Eight more cops arrived, and someone took his wallet, which included a medical alert card about his diabetes. Nonetheless, the cops forcibly held him down, though he was not resisting, and was handcuffed, his wife says.
"Upon information and belief, there were approximately 52 individuals that responded to the scene," according to the complaint.
The widow claims Johnson was Tasered at least three times, while he was lying on his back, helpless, surrounded by police. He became "motionless and speechless" and was pronounced dead within an hour of cardiac arrest.
He was the 10th person to die since 2004 after being subjected to police electroshock in Maryland, the Baltimore Sun reported in a story about Johnson's death.
Linda Johnson seeks more than $10 million in punitive damages for wrongful death, loss of consortium, false imprisonment, false arrest, battery, gross negligence and other charges. She is represented by Mark Millstein and David Silbiger, both of Baltimore.