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Utah Man Sues West Valley City Police After Being 'Wrongfully Tased'

A man tased twice by police and severely injured when he fell and hit his head has filed a lawsuit against the two officers who fired their tasers.

“When I turn around boom, before I had a chance to get down on my knees,” Fernando Coronado, 47 years-old, said during a press conference with his attorney Robert Sykes.

During the press conference, Sykes showed the body cam video from one of the officers when the incident happened back on August 3, 2016 at an apartment complex in West Valley City located near 5700 W. and 2600 S.

The video shows a swarm of officers shouting at Coronado to come out of his apartment. When he steps out he’s naked from the waist up and he continues to walk back and forth. He then makes his way towards two officers and that when they shoot him with their tasers.

Coronado, who admits he was drunk, claims he was not lunging towards the officers but was in the process of going down to his knees when he was hit with the electric shock.

“It burns and then it freezes you,” Coronado said. The video shows Coronado fall, hit his head on the wall, and then on the cement floor. A lot of blood can then be seen pouring out of his head.

Coronado says he spent two months in the hospital and had a severe brain injury. He is in constant pain and is permanently disabled and in need of 24 hour care from his wife.

“What you have here is a forceful take down with a taser and Fernando had a right to be free from that kind of force,” Sykes said. “It’s a sever intrusion upon the 4th Amendment rights guaranteed to Mr. Fernando.”

West Valley City Police released the following statement to 2News:

The complaint against Kenneth Olsen and Jacob Hill has not yet been served on West Valley City. Once the complaint is served, West Valley City intends to vigorously defend each and every allegation contained in the complaint. This case originated with a call from Tabeththa Coronado, who reported being in fear of her husband, Fernando Coronado. Mrs. Coronado reported that her husband was intoxicated, suicidal and making threats that he intended to kill himself and others. Mrs. Coronado also alerted police that her husband had military training and had access to multiple weapons inside of their apartment. The threat to the safety of surrounding apartments and open spaces necessitated an evacuation of the area and the call-out of West Valley City Police Department SWAT officers. A skilled and specially trained Crisis Intervention Team negotiator from the West Valley City Police spent multiple hours negotiating with Mr. Coronado to safely resolve the incident. WVCPD SWAT officers created a well-organized plan to ensure the safety of all involved should Mr. Coronado exit his apartment. Mr. Coronado ultimately did exit his apartment where he was ordered to get on the ground by SWAT officers. Mr. Coronado refused to comply and, in fact, rapidly advanced toward two officers who then deployed their tasers. We work to bring every incident we encounter to the safest resolution possible for all involved. An injury to anyone involved in an incident is unfortunate, however, officers must act to ensure the safety of not only the suspect, but also the safety of the public, themselves and other officers. We look forward to an opportunity to defend the actions of our officers in this case.

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