Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Villanueva lawsuit dismissed

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2020 at 1:00 AM

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U.S. District Judge Philip Brimmer dismissed Thomas Villanueva’s federal lawsuit against El Paso County, Sheriff Bill Elder and several deputies and Colorado Springs Police Department officers May 28. The lawsuit addressed a shooting incident that killed Deputy Micah Flick and left Villanueva, an innocent bystander, paralyzed from the chest down.

The case was filed in 2019, a year after the Feb. 5 shootout with a suspected car thief that also injured several other officers. Villanueva argued in his lawsuit that the officers hadn’t taken due care to prevent him from entering the apartment parking lot at Murray and Galley roads where they hoped to arrest Manuel Zetina. When two officers tried to grab Zetina, he began shooting, with one bullet piercing Villanueva’s spinal cord.

In his ruling, Brimmer wrote, “... the Court concludes that defendants did not take any affirmative action that would subject them to liability under the state-created danger doctrine.” Brimmer rules in the city’s and county’s favor on other points as well. Villanueva’s attorney, Joseph Ramos of Denver, could not be reached for comment.

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