Jury Finds Carrollton Officer Used Excessive Force - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Jury Finds Carrollton Officer Used Excessive Force

DWI suspect awarded $80,000 in damages



    Jury Decides Carrollton Police Officer Used Excessive Force

    A jury decided on Thursday that a Carrollton police officer used excessive force when slamming a man's head into a wall. (Published Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013)

    A Carrollton police officer will be forced to pay $80,000 in damages after a jury found he used excessive force in December 2009.

    Officer Don Patin, a 16-year veteran of the Carrollton Police Department, arrested Jason Giles on suspicion of drinking and driving after spotting Giles driving his vehicle in the HOV lane in the 1800 block of Interstate 35E.

    In court, Patin's attorneys argued from the moment of arrest, Giles was acting difficult and refusing to cooperate.

    Once at the jail, surveillance video shows Patin walk Giles into the room and set him down on a metal chair. Several minutes later you see Patin throw Giles against a wall.

    "It just seems that office Patin lost his cool," Giles' attorney Scott Palmer said.

    "He simply asked my client for his jacket," Palmer said. "Jason said, 'No, I'm not giving you my jacket.' And in one swift, deliberate, continuous act, lifted him and hurled him into a wall -- literally plowed him into a metal box on a wall."

    Giles ended up in a hospital with four stitches above his left eye and with a mild concussion, Palmer said.

    "The video speaks for itself," he said. "It was blatant, it was graphic, and it was brutal."

    Patin's attorneys told the jury of seven people that the officer was acting reasonably when he shoved Giles against the wall.

    They said Giles was acting difficult and refused to cooperate from the moment of his arrest. At one point, he refused to take his hands off the steering wheel, and he later refused to take off his jacket, they said.

    Jurors deliberated for approximately two hours before finding Patin liable of using excessive force and awarding Giles $80,000 in damages.

    "The jury understood what we had," Palmer said. "It was a clear case of excessive force. They responded accordingly."

    A Carrollton police spokeswoman said the department's internal affairs division investigated Patin, who was initially placed on indefinite suspension. He later appealed and was reinstated.

    Patin is currently serving as a patrol officer. The department said it would take no further action against him.