Police Officers in San Anselmo Face Legal Action Following Taser Incident During Epileptic Seizure

Police Officers in San Anselmo Face Legal Action Following Taser Incident During Epileptic Seizure

In a disturbing turn of events, a video capturing the distressing moment when an epilepsy sufferer was tasered during a seizure, followed by his handcuffing in a hospital bed, has surfaced, triggering a lawsuit against the police. Bruce Frankel, a 61-year-old resident of San Anselmo, has taken legal action, alleging battery, false arrest, and defamation, after being subjected to what he describes as excessive force by law enforcement officers. The lawsuit, reported by KTVU, accuses the police of concocting a cover-up story to justify their actions, claiming that Frankel was wrongfully arrested on fabricated charges.

Emergency Call Escalates Into Traumatic Encounter

The distressing chain of events began when Frankel’s fiancée, Alice, made a frantic 911 call at 2:51 am on August 29, 2022, seeking medical assistance as Frankel was experiencing a grand mal seizure. However, instead of medical responders, police officers arrived first at the scene, capturing the entire encounter on their body cameras. Footage shows Frankel’s son opening the door for the officers, including Kevin Sinnott, who immediately entered Frankel’s bedroom.

Misinterpretation Leads to Aggressive Response

Despite Frankel showing signs of post-seizure disorientation and vulnerability, Officer Sinnott inaccurately perceived him as intoxicated. Allegations suggest that Sinnott and other officers ignored Alice’s attempts to provide context and instead rushed to apprehend Frankel, without assessing the situation adequately. Frankel recounted that a simple inquiry from the officers could have prevented the escalation, emphasizing the misunderstanding and mishandling of the situation by law enforcement.

Unjustified Use of Force

Sinnott’s police report claimed that Frankel resisted arrest for over two minutes, prompting him to deploy a Taser to gain compliance. However, footage contradicts this narrative, showing Frankel verbally protesting and attempting to evade Sinnott’s physical restraint. Despite Alice’s pleas for compassion and assistance, Sinnott proceeds to shock Frankel with the Taser, causing him to fall and injure himself.

Legal Battle Unveils Alleged Cover-Up

Frankel’s legal team contends that Sinnott’s account is fabricated to conceal the officers’ misconduct, asserting that Sinnott provided false statements to the Marin County District Attorney, resulting in baseless criminal charges against Frankel. Despite Frankel’s costly legal defense, the district attorney ultimately declined to prosecute, underscoring the lack of merit in the charges levied against him.

Unjustified Actions Under Scrutiny

The lawsuit further scrutinizes the actions of the officers, highlighting their decision to prevent Alice from accompanying Frankel to the hospital, depriving medical professionals of crucial context regarding his condition. Moreover, subsequent footage reveals Frankel being handcuffed to his hospital bed, further exacerbating his distress and disbelief at the unjust treatment he endured.

Police Response and Legal Defense

Police Chief Michael Norton expressed regret over Frankel’s decision to pursue litigation, while Attorney Alison Berry Wilkinson, representing the officers, defended their actions, asserting that an internal review deemed their use of force justified. However, Frankel’s ordeal sheds light on the need for accountability and proper training within law enforcement agencies to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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