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Cape settles excessive force lawsuit

By Staff | Oct 9, 2010

A lawsuit against the city involving a man who claims that Cape Coral police used excessive force on him has ended in a large settlement.
The city has agreed to pay $85,000 to Lewis MacDonald, 42. MacDonald has claimed that it was excessive when a Cape officer used a Taser on him when he attempted to return to his home following a tornado on Sept. 16, 2007.
“Apparently, it was recently concluded and confirmed yesterday,” Connie Barron, spokeswoman for the city, said Friday.
MacDonald could not be reached for comment.
According to an internal affairs investigation by the Cape police, the tornado struck MacDonald’s neighborhood and MacDonald left his residence to buy gas for his generator. An officer reportedly told MacDonald he could return home as long as he had his driver’s license with him that indicated where he lived.
When MacDonald attempted to return home, he was stopped at a roadblock that police had set up at Skyline Boulevard and Mohawk Parkway.
He was told no one could go into the neighborhood, and after a verbal encounter with one officer, MacDonald drove past the roadblock to his house, the report states.
One officer gave chase and when MacDonald arrived home and exited his vehicle, there was allegedly a physical encounter between them. During the struggle, another officer arrived and deployed his Taser, striking MacDonald.
He was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, fleeing police, resist officer with violence and resist an officer.
According to court documents, the four charges were dropped to four counts of failing to obey a lawful order.
MacDonald pleaded no contest and received six months of probation and 200 hours of community service.
The internal affairs investigation found that the use of force was not excessive and was within the policy of the Cape Coral Police Department.