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Colorado Springs man sues police for not taking him into custody

Usually when people have been drinking they are trying to avoid being into taken into custody by police, not asking for it. In a bizarre case, the Gazette has reported that a Colorado Springs man is suing police and the city over injuries he received following a DUI arrest in February of 2010, claiming that he should have been taken into custody.

The 42-year-old and a friend apparently met another man at a bar that February night after they had all been drinking and decided to go booze cruising, with the man they had just met driving. While on Fountain Boulevard, the driver was pulled over, and after failing a sobriety test, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

However, the 42-year-old and his friend were let go and told to "take a walk." The walk lasted about an hour until the 42-year-old walked into the path of a car traveling at 50 mph and was struck. The accident caused 21 bones in the man's body to break and resulted in him losing his left leg below the knee. The man also spent 30 days in a coma.

Now the man is suing the city of Colorado Springs and the Police Department saying that the police officers should have recognized his severe drunken state and taken him into protective custody or brought him home. The man claims that he was a danger to himself and was confused and disoriented when the officers told him to "take a walk." Specifically, the man claims that the officers had a duty to ensure his care that night, and their failure to do so breached his constitutional rights.

According to police, the man was at fault in the accident for running across the street without being in a designated crosswalk, and the police report indicated that the officers did not think the man appeared to be a threat to himself or others.

What do you think? Did the police officers breach a duty here?

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette, "Man stranded by DUI arrest sues police, city over injuries," Daniel Chacon, 4/11/2011.

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