Police Accused Of Firing Taser At Pregnant Bride
NBC 4 | October 25, 2004
EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. -- A man and his daughter have filed a lawsuit alleging a couple of Evergreen Park police officers assaulted them with a Taser gun at the woman's backyard wedding reception.
Clarence Phelps, 54, and Romona Madison, 32, filed the federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday against two officers and the Village of Evergreen Park.
According to the lawsuit, a black female officer on Sept. 18 told Phelps outside his home at 9124 S. Francisco Ave. that the police department had received a noise complaint after 11 p.m. and that he should turn down the music at his daughter's wedding reception, NBC5's Renee Ferguson reported.
Phelps, who is also black, said he turned off the music, but the officer did not leave, according to the lawsuit. When Phelps approached the officer to ask why she was still on his premises, she demanded his identification and called for backup, the lawsuit states.
But, according to a statement from the Evergreen Park Police Department, the officer called for backup after Phelps called the officer an expletive.
Another officer arrived and tried to arrest Phelps, who police claim pushed the officer. That's when Phelps was shot with a Taser gun. According to Phelps' attorney, the officer used the stun gun without provocation.
Phelps, who is a part-time state police officer and truck driver, was then taken into custody, Ferguson reported.
In court documents, Madison states she saw what happened to her father, screamed, and asked the officer to stop. The officer allegedly turned the Taser gun toward her and threatened the bride with it, according to the lawsuit.
Madison ran into the home, and one of the officers followed. That officer then allegedly shot Madison with the Taser gun twice in the abdomen, despite being told by witnesses that she was pregnant.
A prong from the stun gun reportedly became lodged in Madison's stomach and had to be removed by paramedics, Ferguson said.
A third officer allegedly held a gun to Madison's head as she was being arrested.
After being released from custody, Madison sought medical care and doctors told her the unborn child's vital signs were weak and that tests would show whether she would lose the baby, according to a news release from the law firm of Richardson, Stasko, Boyd & Mack.
"It is unclear, the condition of the baby, but we hope for the best," said Elliott Richardson, the woman's attorney.
The lawsuit accuses the defendants of excessive force, assault and battery, negligence and failure to provide timely medical attention.
No court date was set for the lawsuit, which seeks unstated damages.
Police admit using the Taser gun on Madison's abdomen. According to their statement, an officer found Madison hiding in a closet inside the home. When she refused to come out, police said two officers used the stun gun on the woman.
Phelps was charged with resisting arrest, battery to a police officer and keeping a disorderly house, while Madison was charged with battery to a police officer and resisting arrest, according to police and attorneys.
Phelps was scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 19 in Bridgeview Court, according to court records.
Court information was not immediately available for Madison.