Video shows officer punch suspect in face
EUGENE, Ore. - A Eugene Police officer's use of force against a drunk driving suspect resulted in an investigation and could lead to a lawsuit.
An attorney for Shaymond Michelson has notified the City of Eugene he may sue for damages over the September 2013 incident.
Officer Charles Caruso arrested Michelson on September 13, 2013, on suspicion of drunk driving, hit and run and other charges after finding him passed out in his car, according to a police report.
A surveillance video camera at the Lane County Jail captured footage of Officer Caruso walking Michelson from the police cruiser to the jail.
At one point, Michelson appears to push back against the officer, then falls or is thrown to the ground.
The officer then appears to place his knee on Michelson neck or chest to hold him on the ground.
As a sheriff's deputy arrives to assist, Michelson appears to flail in the air with one of his legs.
The video shows Caruso punch Michelson 6 times in the face.
Police conducted an investigation into Caruso's use of force.
According to the report, Caruso told investigators he took this action because he was not able to control Michelson on his own and wanted to prevent the assisting deputy from being injured.
The police investigation notes that from the point Michelson came to rest on the pavement, there appears to be no resistance on the part of Michelson whatsoever.
Michelson told investigators he doesn't remember much from that night. When the investigator later showed him the video Michelson reacted in shock and disbelief at the repetitive nature of force utilized by Officer Caruso, according to the report.
A grand jury in Douglas County heard the evidence against Caruso but declined to indict him on a charge of fourth-degree assault.
Caruso left the Eugene Police Department in December 2013.