Police Abuse

Court: Woman Can Sue Cop for Knocking Her Unconscious

He was chasing a misdemeanor suspect

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A California woman can sue the police officer who kicked in her gate and knocked her out while pursuing a misdemeanor suspect, the 9th Circuit ruled Monday.

Officer Mike Stanton had been called out to La Mesa, a high-crime neighborhood near San Diego, at 1 a.m. in May 2008 for an "unknown disturbance … involving a baseball bat."

There was nothing unusual at the scene when Stanton and his partner arrived, but the officers noticed Nicholas Patrick and two other men walking in the street.

While two of the men walked into a nearby apartment complex, Patrick walked away quickly in another direction. Patrick was not carrying a bat, but Stanton exited his patrol car and ordered him to stop.

Despite these instructions, Patrick entered a nearby front yard through the gate, and closed the gate behind him.

Stanton kicked down the gate in pursuit, unaware that the woman who owned the home, Drendolyn Sims, was standing directly behind it.