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Crime and Courts

Man, 75, hit with Taser says Idaho Springs police officer put knee on his neck

The lawsuit by Michael Clark alleges that the pressure that former Idaho Springs police officer Nicholas Hanning put on his neck after he lost consciousness increased his risk of death.

This undated photo provided by the 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office shows Nicholas Hanning. Hanning, a police officer in Colorado, used a Taser on a 75-year-old man less than a minute after he answered his door with a "Hawaiian sword" but after he put down the weapon and without issuing any warning, according to a court document released Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (The 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office via AP)

A 75-year-old man who suffered a cascade of health problems after a police officer used a Taser on him in his home without warning filed a federal lawsuit Monday accusing the officer of also putting a knee on his neck and causing an injury to his carotid artery that required surgery.

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The lawsuit by Michael Clark claims that the pressure that former Idaho Springs police officer Nicholas Hanning put on his neck after he lost consciousness after being hit with the Taser and striking a chair on the way to the ground deprived him of oxygen, prolonged his loss of consciousness and increased his risk of death.

Within 24 hours, Clark’s body began sending blood cells to the injured carotid artery in the neck — which supplies blood to the brain, neck and face — according to the lawsuit, which was filed against Hanning, his partner, their supervisor and the city. Clark had a stroke the next day, it said.

A lawyer for Hanning, who has been charged with third-degree assault and fired, did not immediately return a telephone call or an email seeking comment. Police Chief Nathan Buseck declined to comment on pending litigation.


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