City of Denison, officer sued for wrongful arrest, excessive force

Local News

DENISON, Iowa (KCAU) – The city of Denison and one of the city’s police officers are being sued after a man claims to have been wrongfully arrested and a victim of excessive force. 

David Nielsen, Jr., of Denison, is suing the city and Officer Rogelio Valdez after his arrest on September 18, 2018. The lawsuit, filed last week, claims that on September 18, 2018 around 6:10 p.m., Valdez received a report that Nielsen may have been suicidal. While driving and following Nielsen, Valdez tried to make a traffic stop by use of the emergency lights, but Nielsen didn’t see them. Valdez then reportedly turned on his siren for a few seconds. The lawsuit claims Nielsen again missed the indication due to loud music he was playing and being hard of hearing.

Nielsen continued until he parked at his apartment complex. Valdez is then said to have opened Nielsen’s door, pulled him out of the car, thrown Nielsen to the ground and put his foot on Nielsen’s head, all without giving Nielsen a chance to comply with any orders. When EMTs arrived to treat Nielsen, Valdez allegedly said that Nielsen “ran from them for a couple of yards and was taken down.” The suit said that two witnesses report and video from the patrol cruiser show that Valdez’s statement is untrue.

The lawsuit claims the city failed to properly train and supervise Valdez. It also said the arrest caused physical injuries including abrasions to Nielsen’s face and arms, a coronoid fracture of the right elbow, and emotional pain. The document also said that Nielsen was arrested without probable cause. Valdez is additionally being sued for negligence and battery as he is alleged to have “acted outside the scope of his responsibilities as a police officer”. 

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