Man who was Tasered gets apology
Denver Post | August 17, 2005
By Jeremy Meyer
Aurora - The city of Aurora apologized Tuesday to the man whom police Tasered in front of his children at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in February, agreeing to make the matter the first assignment for the yet-to- be-formed police use-of-force board.
In exchange, Danon Gale, 29, of Denver agreed to drop his plan to sue the city for $500,000, alleging his civil rights were violated. Gale also will plead no contest in municipal court to disturbing the peace, and the city will drop five other charges.
"The city of Aurora regrets the physical and emotional damage that Mr. Gale and his children have suffered," said a statement released Tuesday by the Aurora city attorney's office. "Police (officers) ... Tasered him under their belief that their actions were necessary."
Aurora police on Feb. 27 were called to the restaurant on East Exposition Avenue after employees accused Gale of refusing to pay for a trip through the salad bar.
Police subdued an irate Gale with the Taser, handcuffed him and removed him from the restaurant.
Prosecutors charged Gale with six misdemeanors, including resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Each charge carried a possible sentence of a year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Gale initially pleaded not guilty to all of them. Neither Gale nor his attorney, Barrett Weisz, could be reached for comment Tuesday.
Aurora officials now say an investigation concluded that "Gale never stole his salad at Chuck E. Cheese and that there was no reason for Chuck E. Cheese management to call the police."
Dick Huston, executive vice president of CEC Entertainment Inc., of Irving, Texas, the corporate owner of Chuck E. Cheese, said
Gale was using the wrong type of plate to fill up at the salad bar. The manager said he would get Gale the right plate if he would produce a receipt. Gale continued to fill his plate, and the manager said he would call the police, Huston said.
"We have nothing here that there ever was a receipt produced," Huston said. "I'm not saying that it is not true. I don't want to say the police are wrong. But this isn't reflected in our pretty thorough incident report."
In May, Gale filed a claim with the city that he intended to sue Aurora, its Police Department and various officers for $500,000, alleging injuries including a closed head wound, a hernia and a back and neck injury.
His claim alleged violation of his civil rights and that he and his children endured significant economic and noneconomic injuries. Aurora agreed to pay for Gale's medical expenses and attorney fees. The city would not release dollar amounts.
Aurora also will make the matter the first case to be reviewed by a use-of-force board being planned. A City Council committee on public safety is working on rules and regulations of the board, which will be made up of citizens and police officials.