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Lawsuit claims excessive force after CSPD uses stun gun on USMC vet in hospital

carl andersen stunned
KRDO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A US Marine Corps veteran was at his daughter's side in a Woodland Park hospital after a traffic accident when a quick series of events left him in handcuffs with Taser barbs sticking out of his skin. Now, he's suing the police officers for excessive force.

The incident happened nearly two years ago on April 17, 2019. According to a lawsuit filed in 2020 and released to KRDO on Wednesday, Carl Andersen Jr. was at UCHealth Memorial Hospital with his family after their 19-month-old daughter was accidentally hit by a car in their driveway in Woodland Park.

The lawsuit says that while Andersen was with his fiancee and daughter in the hospital, police officers arrived and began asking questions related to the crash. According to Andersen's attorneys at Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP, the officers "wrongfully suspected possible child abuse as the cause of the injuries."

A body-worn camera video released as part of the lawsuit shows three CSPD officers and one Teller County Sheriff's Office detective enter the hospital room where Andersen and his family are waiting with the young girl. Upon entry, one of the officers immediately tries to pull a cell phone from Andersen's back pocket without warning.

Andersen refused and pulled his body away, telling the officers they didn't have the right to seize the phone. One of the officers heard in the video disputes that and claims that they do have the right to seize the phone as part of an investigation.

The lawsuit says that one CSPD officer, Todd Eckert, said, "Let's take this out in the hallway." That's when Andersen said, "I'm not leaving my daughter's side," and asked the officers, "You're going to 'Taze' me because I won't give you my fiancee's cell phone?"

While this exchange was taking place, Andersen's father was on the phone with Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell trying to get information and apparently de-escalate the situation.

At one point, CSPD officer Vito DelCore moved past Andersen and said, "I'm going to go behind you because I don't want anyone behind you getting hurt." Within seconds, officers grabbed Andersen's wrist and started restraining his arms. The lawsuit says DelCore then shot Andersen in the back with a Taser stun gun. As Andersen was on the floor being pinned down by the officers, DelCore says, "Put your hands behind your back," while firing his stun gun a second time into Andersen's leg.

The lawsuit claims that officers didn't tell Andersen he was under arrest or indicate they would use force to take the cell phone before the scuffle in the hospital room, just feet from where his fiancee and daughter were in the bed.

According to the lawsuit, Andersen was taken out of the room and interrogated without a Miranda advisement, and they wrote reports which "were misleading and falsely described Mr. Andersen's actions and demeanor." Two cell phones were seized as well.

The lawsuit says that officers filed "obstructing and resisting arrest charges against Mr. Andersen," but that the charges were dismissed by the District Attorney's Office in El Paso County two days before the trial in late 2019. We looked through CoCourt records and couldn't find any documentation of the case.

The lawsuit is seeking compensatory and consequential damages, claiming the officers violated Andersen's civil and Constitutional rights. The defendants named in the lawsuit are the City of Colorado Springs, Teller County, CSPD Officer Vito Delcore, CSPD Officer Todd Eckert, CSPD Officer Carlos Sandoval, and TCSO Deputy Anthony Matarazzo.

We're working on getting the original reports and talking to Andersen this afternoon. Check back for updates.

CSPD said it couldn't comment on pending litigation.

Colorado Springs / Local News / News

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for KRDO.com. Learn more about Andrew here.

Comments

11 Comments

  1. What was CSPD doing in in Woodland Park? If I am not mistaken the hospital is not even in Woodland Park’s city limits. This is so far out of CSPD’s jurisdiction it is in another county altogether. Was this a mistype and meant to be either Cripple Creek Police Department or Woodland Park Police Department?

    1. So, if that did occur in the Woodland Park Hospital, why was TCSO not the primary unit(s) on scene? after viewing the video, 3 CSPD on scene, 1 TCSO on scene. There is more to this than what is being said by all parties involved.

  2. Teller County is in the same judicial district as COS (fourth judicial district). It is common practice (and legal) to have LE officers accompanying outside LE officers from other jurisdictions conducting an investigation and/or advise communications centers. My understanding of this case when it was publicized years ago is the father had his daughter’s cell phone with incriminating evidence against her father. LE officers were justified to seize that phone to prevent the father from deleting evidence against him. Once the phone is seized and preserved, LE can then obtain a warrant to “search” the data on the phone. The father escalated this situation. This is a legal arrest of the father and legal use of force to effect his arrest.

    1. @ servant No they (C.S.P.D.) broke the law (as usual) this is nothing new you cops think your ABOVE the law and your NOT now your dumb arse are gonna cost this city money we could use to to do something else..even if it is insurance money the cost of said insurance will go up. you cops need to THINK before you act. (I know not something you do well) you wonder WHY the public views you as we do? WATCH THE VIDEO and tell me if you would have been as calm. ( i’m guessing not)

  3. First paragraph says they were in woodland park hospital. Second paragraph says they were at memorial ( which is in Colo sprgs.) Either way, charges were dropped. Overall,lots of bad police work going on.

  4. @Fcn2.0 No, not a cop. Just a knowledgeable citizen but thank you for the compliment.

  5. This is old recycled news at least eight months old. The car ran over the child in woodland park and they were transported to Memorial. The officers went to seize the phone before a warrant (common practice). Why is this writer is trying to drum up this info as new or unreported?

  6. It is as easy as complying with the lawful order. Afterwards, if you feel that your rights were violated, then file a lawsuit.

  7. There does come a point where if you have nothing to hide you can comply and not escalate the situation. It appear both sides escalated the situation to an unfortunate event. My daughter broke her collar bone and the hospital pulled her aside and me separately to ensure it was not abuse. Can it be insulting? Yes. But I appreciate them checking because if it inconveniences me for a bit and it takes a kid out of a real abusive situation then it is worth it.

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