‘I See This Every Day’

     KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (CN) – Saying, “I see this every day,” a police officer Tasered a man who was having convulsions, after his fiancée called 911 for help, the shocked man claims in court.
     Zachary Allen Dunfee sued the Sevierville Police Department, the city, and its police Officers David Finchum and Rebecca Cowan, in Federal Court.
     Dunfee’s fiancée Jennifer Brower was driving her two young children, mother and the plaintiff to Dollywood in June 2012, Dunfee says in the complaint. Dunfee was in the back seat with the little boys.
     “As they neared the Food City on Dolly Parton Parkway in Sevierville, Ms. Brower looked toward the back seat and observed the plaintiff suffering a medical emergency that appeared to be a seizure. Plaintiff’s face was turning shades of white and purple, and he was foaming at the mouth,” according to the complaint.
     It continues: “Ms. Brower’s mother pulled her vehicle into the Food City parking lot, and Ms. Brower called 911 to obtain medical assistance for plaintiff.
     “Defendant John Doe 1, an officer of the Sevierville Police Department, was the first to arrive on the scene. John Doe 1 stated that plaintiff was having a seizure and told Ms. Brower, ‘I see this every day.’
     “Defendant Finchum, defendant Cowan, and three more officers from the Sevierville Police Department arrived (John and Jane Does 2-4), and plaintiff began having physical convulsions.
     “The officers pulled plaintiff from the rear seat of the vehicle, threw him onto the hot pavement and held him down. Defendant Finchum then used a Taser gun on the plaintiff.
     “The officers told Ms. Brower that Mr. Dunfee was Tased because it looked like he was having a seizure due to consumption of or withdrawal from methamphetamine or bath salts.
     “The plaintiff had not ingested any illegal narcotics, drugs, bath salts or other toxic substances prior to suffering the seizure.
     “After Tasing the plaintiff, the officers continued to hold the plaintiff down on the hot pavement. The officers summoned an ambulance, and the plaintiff was strapped to the gurney face down and transported to the emergency room at LeConte Medical Center.
     “Upon arrival at Le Conte Medical Center, a drug screen was performed and reflected that the plaintiff was not under the influence of any illegal narcotics, drugs or other substances.
     “The plaintiff was never arrested or charged with any offense, either before or after being taken to the hospital
     “At no time during the encounter did the plaintiff resist or pose any physical harm to the officers or anyone else. The plaintiff did not physically or verbally threaten the officers in any way.”
     Dunfee seeks punitive damages for assault, excessive force, false imprisonment, negligent supervision and pain and suffering.
     He is represented by Kristi Davis, with Hodges, Doughty & Carson.

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