Madison, WI — On the day Klyde J. Gebelein was viciously attacked by police and their K9 unit, he had no criminal record, had not caused harm to anyone, and, as the court records later showed, broke no law. However, that did not stop Marathon County Sheriff’s Deputy Troy Deiler from assaulting him and allowing his K9 to maul the head of this innocent 70-year-old man.
Gebelein has since filed a lawsuit against the Marathon County Sheriff’s Deputy for the horrific assault he endured on August 6, 2015 — all of which was captured on police dashcam.
On that fateful day, Deputy Deiler pulled over Mr. Gebelein because his trailer, for hauling his excavator, lacked the proper stickers from the Department of Transportation. Deiler claimed that because Gebelein was using this trailer and excavator to earn income that he was required to pay the DOT — for a sticker. But Gebelein was having nothing of it.
Clearly agitated that Deiler kept pressing him over this extortion fee for a license, Gebelein had enough and left.
If we look at this situation objectively — outside of the statist paradigm — we see a man driving away from an armed robber who detained him and demanded he pay protection money for the right to earn income.
Sadly, however, as the police see it, this man was fleeing an officer, resisting an officer and operating commercial motor vehicle without a license — so they claimed the right to enact violence against Gebelein.
After realizing that the officers weren’t going to stop chasing him, Gebelein finally stopped his vehicle. He then simply got out and walked up to the officers to talk to them like a human being. However, because they are police and perceived Gebelein’a actions as criminal activity, they did no talking — only violence.
The scene that unfolded during the second stop, which was caught on dashcam, is nothing short of horrifying and tyrannical.
Gebelein, who is 70-years-old, posed zero threat to the officers. He was not running, nor was he attempting to flee, nor did he have his hands in his pockets, or anything else that would’ve justified Deiler unleashing his K9, Leo. In fact, his actions were so non-threatening that the Leo did not even know who to attack once he was released.
As the dog wanders aimlessly wondering who the cops are telling him to attack, a deputy then rushes the senior citizen, while yelling at him to “get on the ground!” Only seconds later, after he was already down, Deiler forces the K9 to attack Gebelein. As Leo tears into Gebelein’s thigh, police continue to order him to get his hands behind his back.
As three cops attack an unarmed, non-violent, elderly man, Deiler then has the K9 sink his teeth into Gebelein’s head. The video of police attempting to pull Leo off of this poor man’s head was as gruesome as it was heartbreaking.
Gebelein suffered a traumatic head injury as a result and was hospitalized. He is now permanently disfigured and injured.
Battered and bloody, Gebelein was booked into jail for resisting arrest, fleeing an officer, and failure to obtain the proper licensing for a commercial vehicle — which Gebelein said he doesn’t even have.
Gebelein suffered pain, permanent scarring to his head, medical expenses, and business loss, according to the lawsuit. He is asking the court to determine the amount of damage he should be awarded, according to the Daily Herald.
As the Daily Herald reports, Jerome Tlusty, Gebelein’s attorney for his criminal case and one of the attorneys for his civil case, later argued in court documents both the stop and the search of the vehicle were illegal.
Fortunately for Gebelein, the court agreed with Tlusty and all charges were thrown out. However, none of the officers involved in the assault were held liable for the injuries they caused this innocent man. In fact, Capt. Sean McCarthy said the department followed proper procedure when forcing their K9 to maul a non-threatening senior citizen.
“It’s just an unfortunate situation all around,” he said. “But if they have to be used in that way, they are.”
Now, it will be the Marathon County taxpayers who take responsibility for the stop.
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