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Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

That Was Certainly Unexpected

HOUSTON (CN) - A homeowner claims that after a motorist smashed a car into his house and ran away, gun-toting school district police officers showed up and choked him and broke his collarbone after handcuffing him, ignoring his statements that he lived there.

James Page says he "was sitting in the den at his home" at about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2009, when he heard "tires screeching, a loud bang," and his son screaming outside.

Page says he went outside and saw that a car had smashed into his house, and the driver was fleeing. He chased him but couldn't catch him.

Then things got worse.

Page says when he returned home, North Forest Independent School District Officer Roberson and Sgt. Chadd Gilford were there. (Roberson's first name is unknown.)

"As Mr. Page attempted to inform the officers of the description and whereabouts of the suspect, they drew their guns, pointed them at him, and ordered him to the ground. Mr. Page raised his arms in submission and informed the officers that he resided in the home and again they ordered him to the ground," according to the complaint.

The complaint continues: "Several neighbors also informed the officers that Mr. Page resided in the home and the officers told them to go back inside their homes.

"The officers detained and handcuffed Mr. Page. He informed them that he had not been in the vehicle and that he resided in the home. They responded by telling him to 'shut the fuck up.' The officers then attempted to lift Mr. Page off of the ground by the chain connecting the two handcuffs. When Mr. Page again informed them that he resided in the home and had not been in the vehicle, the officers began to choke him and forced him back down into the concrete driveway while still in handcuffs. The officers then placed Mr. Page in the back of a patrol car."

Page says the cops also arrested his minor son, Demetri Walton, and put them into the squad car too.

"Father and son were bystanders to each other's attacks and arrest and each feared for the other's life. Minor child Demetri was attacked by the police officers and suffered a swollen lip and a scratch on his face and emotional trauma," Page says.

Eventually, Page says, the cops got around to questioning him.

"Page experienced shoulder pain and emotional distress following the attack. It was later determined that Mr. Page had suffered a broke collarbone in the attack," the complaint states.

Page and his son seek $30 million in actual damages, and punitive damages for civil rights violations, excessive and unreasonable force, unreasonable seizure, violation of due process, cruel and unusual force and improper seizure of Mr. Page.

Page claims the North Forest Independent School District "ratified the acts of Sergeant Gilford and Officer Roberson by not taking them off the street" after they roughed him up.

Page and his son are represented by Reginald McKamie.

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