June 19, 2024

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Bay Area surfer sues State Parks over alleged dog-related tasing

Bay Area surfer sues State Parks over alleged dog-related tasing

Popular Bay Space large wave surfer Shawn Rhodes bought out of the ocean just north of Santa Cruz on a midsummer day and was walking up the hill with his doggy Yoda when two park rangers confronted him over the chocolate Lab’s deficiency of leash. What took place following in Wilder Ranch Condition Park close to the popular Four Mile Beach front surf location led to Rhodes’ allegedly violent arrest, an too much-force lawsuit, and, in accordance to Rhodes, a real bummer for Yoda.

Rhodes claimed in his lawsuit towards California Point out Parks and rangers Jamie Stamps and Cameron Weaver that when the two rangers sought to stop him over Yoda that day in August 2020 after he completed surfing, he explained to them he would set his surfboard leash — a twine meant to maintain the board from floating away just after a wipeout — on the doggy when he achieved the leading of the hill and could set down his board.

Stamps “wasn’t acquiring it,” Rhodes said by mobile phone, right after filing the accommodate this week in U.S. District Courtroom in San Jose. “She said, ‘That’s not a legal leash.’”

Rhodes, properly identified in the browsing earth as one of the early riders to dare to deal with the famous and deadly big waves at Mavericks around Half Moon Bay, reported he and Stamps commenced arguing.

“Let me just get to the prime of the hill,” he promises he claimed.

The officers never ever tried to ticket Rhodes for obtaining Yoda off leash, but instead “chose to initiate and escalate a actual physical confrontation,” he claims in the match. Stamps grabbed his garments to stop him, then seized his arm, twisted it at the rear of his again and took him to the filth, exactly where she was “trying to get me in all these jiu jitsu holds,” Rhodes alleges.

“She wasn’t getting cool at all,” he stated. “I questioned her to cease.”

State Parks did not react to a request for comment. Rangers for the point out parks method are categorized as peace officers and their obligations demand them to carry firearms, electricity-primarily based stun guns, and handcuffs, and to bear “regular education and testing in physical defensive tactics and firearms use,” according to California State Parks.

Shawn Rhodes starts to drop into a wave in the first heat in the Mavericks surf contest Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008 in Half Moon Bay. (Patrick Tehan/Mercury News)
Shawn Rhodes starts to fall into a wave in the initial warmth in the Mavericks surf contest Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008 in 50 percent Moon Bay. (Patrick Tehan/Mercury Information) 

The lawsuit statements that Rhodes, extensive-time proprietor of NorCal Surf Shop in Pacifica and a previous competitor in significant wave surfing contests at Mavericks, “found himself struggling” with Stamps “through no fault of his.”

Yoda entered the fray, stated Rhodes, 55. “He was truly trying to lay on me when they were being attacking me,” Rhodes said. “He was striving to lick their faces.” Over the 10 to 15 minutes he and the officers “wrestled,” Rhodes saved telling Stamps and Weaver he would leash Yoda at the leading of the hill, he explained.

On the other hand, claims Rhodes, 55, Stamps fired a Taser electrical power weapon into his abdomen. He experimented with to pull the Taser’s prong out, “but he rapidly fell to the ground due to the electrical cost the Taser despatched by his human body,” the accommodate promises.

Rhodes advised the officers Stamps’ maneuvers were hurting his shoulder but his “pleas for assistance and mercy fell on deaf ears” as the two officers “continued to assault him,” the accommodate alleges.

Yoda retreated, Rhodes mentioned. “He just went and sat down and viewed me get defeat up,” Rhodes stated.

Rhodes statements Stamps hurt his shoulder even further when she “aggressively” yanked his arms driving his again to handcuff him. The officers place him in the back of a auto, without having securing him with a seatbelt, he claims in the suit.

A parks section supervisor arrived, and Rhodes, by means of the vehicle window, heard him check with Stamps what took place. She “responded with words and phrases to the effect of, ‘(Rhodes) was not listening,’” he statements in the suit.

Stamps and Weaver drove Rhodes to the medical center, “taking a circuitous route when commonly and sporadically fluctuating the vehicle’s speed,” Rhodes alleges in the go well with. “These intentional and willful speed fluctuations triggered (Rhodes) to fly throughout the vehicle’s backseat indiscriminately in the course of the excursion with no way to shield his shoulder for the reason that he could not reduce himself from traveling across the seat because of to getting handcuffed.”

Rhodes statements the alleged abuse by the officers tore a ligament in his shoulder, and his doctor said he will will need surgical treatment in just a pair many years. “My shoulder’s thoroughly weak,” he claimed. “I’ve surfed my entire life. I’ve never experienced a poor shoulder.”

Rhodes was billed with hoping to consider absent a peace officer’s gun and resisting arrest, but both of those charges were dropped, he explained in the interview and the lawsuit. Santa Cruz County Court documents on the circumstance are sealed, as is normally the case with arrests not resulting in conviction.

This is not the initially time a canine owner’s confrontation with a ranger has led to use of a Taser and a lawsuit. In 2014, a federal courtroom judge requested the Nationwide Park Company to shell out a gentleman $50,000 in damages after a ranger tased him when she caught him jogging with his doggy off leash in the Golden Gate National Recreation Spot in San Mateo County. Judge Jacqueline Corley in U.S. District Court docket in San Francisco ruled that Gary Hesterberg “indisputably posed no risk to Ranger (Sarah) Cavallaro, the general public, or himself, but had refused Cavallaro’s command not to depart the scene right after she experienced now warned him about strolling his pet off leash and he had complied.” Corley extra that “the absence of any violent conduct on the element of Hesterberg (was) crucial” to her locating that the ranger applied additional drive than important.