Louisville, KY — A 71-year-old Kentucky man has filed a lawsuit against police after they came to his house and violently threw him to the ground. Frank Serapiglia said he had done nothing wrong, was actually in his bathrobe and came to the door empty handed before police officers escalated their use of force unnecessarily.
Serapiglia was met at the door by officers from the Louisville Metro and Jeffersontown Police Departments who responded to a call to 911 from Serapiglia’s wife. Only after dragging the elderly man from his home at gunpoint, throwing him to the ground and hearing his side of the story was it clear Serapiglia’s wife must have been suffering from some sort of delusional behavior. The senior citizen explained to police his wife had been suffering from seizures and had recently been hospitalized for mental health issues.
Mrs. Serapiglia called police and told them her husband had shot her in the head although she could not tell the dispatcher whether or not she was bleeding. She also did not seem to be in a frantic or panicked state while speaking with 911 dispatchers.
Understandably, officers were likely on edge as they arrived at a shots-fired scenario whereby the 911 caller had reported being injured by her husband with a gunshot to the head. Yet, while the 911 call was strange to say the least, upon seeing the elderly man at the door to his home, the two police officers should have known they were not in any immediate danger.
The recently released body camera footage of the September 2019 incident shows the officers being unsuccessful in kicking their way into the Serapiglia’s home. In fact, one officer went back to his cruiser to retrieve his battering ram. Undaunted, Mr. Serapiglia went to the door to meet the three officers, all of which were armed with AR-15’s pointed in his direction. And yes, as TFTP has reported before, cops will fire into a home through closed doors and closed windows so the elderly man had reason to pause as the cops were screaming for him to “open the door!”
When the elderly man did open the door, the cops became, one could say, judge, jury and potential executioners. Not only did they not give Mr. Serapiglia time to show the officers his hands, as they were demanding, but they were giving conflicting commands.
While one officer was demanding his hands be shown the other officer was demanding for the elderly man to “get on the ground”. Mr. Serapiglia did neither immediately so they stepped into his home, grabbed the man by the arms and then threw him violently down on the front porch of his home, face first. It was hardly a civil encounter with the man hopelessly at the mercy of the anger and fear of the cops. The cops would later claim “he lost his footing and fell to the ground” — a blatant lie.
As he lay on the ground vehemently questioning the officers as to why they had treated him with such reckless abandon, much of the audio from the incident was censored. He did hurl a lot of profanity at the officers as he was well perplexed by their actions. Officers entered his home and searched for Mrs. Serapiglia who was found to be completely unharmed.
“What did you think we were going to do?” the sergeant asks Mr. Serapiglia as he questions their use of force, “say ‘Hey good morning, did you shoot your wife in the head?'”
Serapiglia yells back that police could see he was in his bathrobe and not a threat.
“You could see I had nothing in my ****ing hands,” he said.
Kentucky attorney Thomas Clay is now representing in a lawsuit against the two police departments. Of course the incident could have been handled differently. Both of the officers could have left their assault rifles in the car.
They could have not hollered conflicting commands, and they could have treated the man as the senior citizen that he is, not intentionally injuring their “suspect’ as they called him in the madness of their police work. Once again, taxpayers will likely shell out thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for the boneheaded actions of several law enforcement officers. Mr. Serapiglia was taken to the hospital and treated for multiple injuries, including head trauma.
*NSFW GRAPHIC LANGUAGE*VIDEO | Police throw elderly man in bathrobe to ground after false shooting call. READ | https://wdrb.news/2U1du0F
Posted by Travis Ragsdale on Wednesday, March 11, 2020