EUCLID, Ohio- A 30-year-old man has filed a civil lawsuit alleging he was kicked in the face and tased numerous times during a December 2016 arrest in Euclid.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court by attorney, Paul Cristallo, on behalf of his client, Erimius Spencer.
Spencer said he was arrested inside his apartment building last year, after two Euclid officers, then- Officer Michael Amiott and Officer Shane Rivera, came up to him when he went to a friend’s apartment asking for a cigarette.
“I saw the officers in the stairwell and they came up to me, asking me my name and if I had a weapon,” Spencer told FOX 8 on Friday. “I told them, 'no, I didn’t have a weapon,' and that I lived there. I was kinda surprised that they came up to me. I was cooperative and answered everything they asked me."
Spencer said the officers searched his pockets and found a small amount of alleged marijuana. He was then told he was under arrest and forced to the ground.
“I had my arm behind my back,” Spencer said. “Officer Amiott kicked me in my face repeatedly, kicked me in my face. The other officer was on top of me and proceeded to taser me multiple times. I’m screaming, asking them to stop.”
According to the lawsuit, Amiott kicked Spencer with “such force it fractured Spencer’s left orbital bone. “
Spencer was arrested and then taken to the hospital.
“He was in such bad shape that the doctors at the hospital in Euclid had him taken to Metro’s trauma center,” said Cristallo.
Spencer faced charges of drug abuse, resisting arrest, criminal damaging, and theft.
“The theft charge stemmed from Officer Amiott saying that Erimius tried to steal his Taser,” Cristallo said.
“He also charged him with criminal damaging because when they were tasering him numerous times part of a piece of plastic broke on the taser -- that was one thing, and apparently Officer Amiott said his sunglasses got broken during what was essentially a beat-down on Erimuis.”
Spencer pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor drug abuse charge.
“Spencer’s possession of what was allegedly less than 1 gram of marijuana was the justification for charging him with drug abuse,” the lawsuit states. “It is noteworthy that Ohio law considers the possession of less than a hundred grams of marijuana to be a minor misdemeanor, not punishable by jail or even arrest, with a maximum fine of $150.00.”
All the other charges filed against Spencer were dismissed.
Spencer’s attorney says his client has no felony record and only a few non-violent misdemeanor charges filed against him in the past.
Euclid police officials said they could not discuss Spencer’s case due to the pending lawsuit.
Officer Amiott was fired in October after an arrest he made in August was caught on tape. During that arrest, Officer Amiott can be seen punching Richard Hubbard, who was stopped for a traffic violation. All charges against Hubbard were dismissed last month.