Local doctor claims excessive police force caused heart attack

Local doctor claims excessive police force caused heart attack

EVENDALE, OH (FOX19) - A local doctor is suing police at two departments, alleging officers used such excessive force during his arrest, he suffered a heart attack and kidney failure.

Dr. William Cox of Montgomery Family Practice claims Blue Ash and Evendale police "mercilessly" and repeatedly Tased him with a stun gun. They were taking him into custody in 2012 on a charge of violation of a protection order involving an ex-girlfriend - a charge that was later dropped.

The federal lawsuit seeks punitive damages and a jury trial.

Blue Ash police defended their officers in a brief statement today.

"An internal investigation conducted by the Blue Ash Police Department in early 2013 found that officers acted appropriately and in an objectively reasonable manner during the arrest," wrote Blue Ash Police Chief Paul Hartinger. "Due to the pending litigation, the Blue Ash Police Department is unable to provide additional information regarding the incident at this time." 

Evendale police declined comment, saying they do not discuss pending litigation.

Officers from each jurisdiction were involved in the Dec. 2, 2012, arrest outside Cox's Vineyard Ridge home in Evendale.  

At the time, Cox was throwing a birthday party for his terminally-ill son who has since passed away.

Cox, 56, stepped onto his front porch, turned to his daughter and asked her to call his lawyer.

That's when, according to the suit, two of the officers grabbed the doctor by the neck and forced him to the ground.

He landed on his chest with his arms underneath his body. An officer put his knee behind Cox's back and pulled one of the doctor's arms out from underneath Cox.

The officer ordered Cox to put his other hand behind his back, but Cox said he couldn't because the officer was on top of him, according to the suit.

A different officer stunned Cox with the Taser and again ordered him to put his hands behind his back.

Cox repeated that said he was unable to and told officers he was having trouble breathing.

He was Tased a second time. Again, he told officers he was unable to breathe, according to the suit.

Police put Cox in a position on his knees.

Cox kept telling them he was having trouble breathing.

Friends and family at Cox's home told police he suffered from panic attacks and had medicine to treat the condition.

An officer ordered Cox to stand up, but he was still having trouble breathing and could not. 

He was Tased for a third time

"At no point in time did Dr. Cox resist the officers during the course of arrest," wrote his lawyer, Benjamin M. Maraan II of Downtown Cincinnati.

One bystander saw Cox being "hog-tied" with his wrists tied down toward his ankles, the suit contends.

Police charged Cox with resisting arrest. That charge was later dropped, but the doctor continues to suffer medical complications - a heart attack and kidney failure - from the incident.

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