It started with a call to the Alzheimer's Association in Dallas. On May 29, David Seyfried phoned the agency's hotline to tell them that his wife, Delores, a 67-year-old Alzeheimer's patient, was "agitated" and waving around a letter opener.
He was expecting advice. What he got a few minutes later was a visit from Lewisville police.
According to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Sherman, LPD Sergeant Courtney Letalien arrived, orange shotgun in hand, as Seyfried was trying to calm his wife in the backyard. Seyfried pleaded with the officer to put the gun away and assured him that, given a few minutes, he was sure he could get her to calm down.
Instead, Letalien and another officer tased Delores twice -- once in the thigh, once in the right buttocks -- and shot her three times with the "less lethal" orange shotgun, presumably firing rubber bullets or beanbags, before they were able to subdue and handcuff her, according to the suit.
Delores suffered a broken wrist and severe bruising. Doctors closed a cut on her chin with stitches. The gash on her head required 17 staples. Seyfried says officers responded to his complaints of excessive force by telling him they'd "saved his ass today."
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The lawsuit alleges that the cops' actions were unreasonable and violated Delores' Fourth Amendment rights.
"No reasonable officer could have believed that such extreme force was necessary to calm a one hundred and twenty-five pound, elderly woman with dementia," it says.
We have a call into Lewisville PD seeking comment. (Update at 2 p.m.:: Lewisville Police Chief Russell Kerbow called to say the department doesn't comment on pending litigation.)
(h/t Courthouse News)