July 24, 2024

An 80-year-old man filed a lawsuit this week against an eastern Kansas sheriff’s office for allegedly tasing him without warning after officers pursued him for driving 3 mph over the speed limit.

In his federal lawsuit, John Sigg said a lieutenant with the Iola Police Department in Allen County on April 16, 2021, clocked him driving 38 mph in an area where the speed limit was 35 and decided to give “chase.”

Multiple police vehicles followed Sigg for a few minutes as he drove to his family’s car lot, although he did not realize he was “the subject of the pursuit,” his attorney wrote. He parked, got out and was surrounded by officers from several agencies.

Two Chanute police officers pulled their guns on Sigg, according to the lawsuit. Looking “quizzically” at them, he raised his hands, which can be seen in a screenshot of body-camera footage of the incident.

“Get on the f—ing ground,” a now-former deputy with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office yelled, according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District of Kansas.

Without warning, the deputy used a Taser on Sigg — even though the manufacturer of the TASER X2 warns about using it “on the elderly,” his lawyer wrote. Sigg dropped “like a rock,” his attorney said, and cut his head.

“Sigg mumbled and was hard to understand,” his Wichita attorney, Randall Rathbun, wrote in the lawsuit. “As officers talked with him on the scene he indicated that he did not know what was going on and did not feel right.”

Rathbun, who served as the U.S. attorney for the District of Kansas from 1993 to 1996, told The Star that Sigg required a trip to the emergency room to have the taser probes removed from his body.

“To this day, he can’t believe they did it,” he said.

Other cops at the scene knew the deputy used excessive force and “were concerned by his conduct,” the lawsuit alleges.

The petition seeks a judgment of $250,000 in actual damages and $250,000 in punitive damages. The sheriff’s office did not return a message seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.

Court records show Sigg pleaded guilty to failing to yield to an emergency vehicle after the incident.