FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) - After dispensing eight years of harassment, a police officer Tasered a man twice and then shoved his eight-month-pregnant fiancee to the ground, a couple claims in court.
Before being named in separate complaints by Jeffrey Gattozzi and Gattozzi's fiancee, Jolene Sloan, Fairfax County Police Officer Sean Regan received of the Congressional Life Saving Award and was recognized for his heroism and bravery in the line of duty in 2010 by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce.
Gattozzi, who operates a towing service, says Regan had been harassing him since 2002. After he complained, the Fairfax County Police Department allegedly told him that "it was believed that Regan was acting appropriately."
But Gattozzi says he had to complain again in 2007 when Regan harassed him in his tow truck. This time, Regan's supervisor, Lt. Reid, allegedly told Gattozzi to contact him should he and Regan make contact again, so as to avoid any problems.
In August 2010, five months after Fairfax had honored Regan for his remarkable bravery in the line of duty, Gattozzi says Regan tried to break up a fight he was having with his pregnant fiancee.
Regan had been transporting a prisoner when he spotted Gattozzi and Sloan having heated words on the side of the road, according to the complaint.
Gattozzi and Sloan insist that their disagreement was neither violent nor disturbing anyone, but that Regan jumped out of his car and ordered Gattozzi to move away from Sloan.
"Sloan assured Regan that everything was fine and that they did not need or want any police assistance," both complaints state.
When Regan would not back down, Gattozzi says he moved away and raised his hands into the air, as Regan directed.
"Gattozzi then requested that Regan have his supervisor dispatched to the scene as Regan's supervisor had previously instructed Gatlozzi to do," the complaints state.
"Regan refused to contact his supervisor as requested by Gattozzi.
"Without warning or provocation and with Gattozzi's hands raised in the air, Regan shot Gattozzi with his Taser gun.
"Sloan yelled at Regan to stop Tazing Gattozzi as she feared for Gattozzi's life.
"Gattozzi, while laying face down and with his hands over his head, asked Sloan to
"When Sloan took a phone out to call 9-1-1, Regan ordered Sloan to 'get back,' and then stepped toward her thrusting his arm out and striking Sloan in the chest.
"Sloan, who was eight (8) months pregnant at the time, stumbled backward and fell
into her brother and then onto the ground as a result of Regan's strike.
"Regan pulled the trigger on the Taser gun to initiate a second burst of electrical current through Gattozzi despite his compliance with all of Regan's demands and his complete acquiescence to Regan's color of authority."
Gattozzi and Sloan say backup officers then arrived and carted them to jail where Gattozzi was charged with disorderly conduct and Sloan was charged with obstruction of justice.
The General District Court for Fairfax City deemed both not guilty in December 2010.
Gattozzi and Sloan say Regan attacked them and abused his authority in retaliation for the previous complaints.
Fighting the frivolous charges cost the couple substantial amounts of legal fees, humiliation and mental anguish, according to the complaint. Gattozzi also claims that he suffered injuries from the excessive Taser use.
The couple seeks punitive damages for malicious prosecution, assault and battery, and false arrest. They are represented by Stephen Halfhill of Allred, Bacon, Halfhill & Young.
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