Police Abuse

California Cops Tased a Man Having a Seizure, Then Booked Him on Bogus Charges To Cover Their Mistake

Bruce Frankel was tased by a police officer in 2022 after his fiancee called 911 seeking medical help. Now he's suing.


In August 2022, Bruce Frankel's fiancee dialed 911 after Frankel began having a grand mal seizure. But instead of receiving medical help, a police officer burst into Frankel's home and tased him. Making matters worse, police engaged in an attempt to cover up their mistake by launching bogus charges against Frankel.

Frankel has now launched a lawsuit against the officers who tased him, arguing that their actions clearly violated his Fourth Amendment rights.

The ordeal began in the early morning hours of August 29, 2022, when 61-year-old Frankel began having a grand mal seizure in his home in San Anselmo, California. His fiancee, named in the complaint as Alice, awoke to Frankel's gasping and called 911, telling the operator that Frankel was having trouble breathing.

As she waited for medical help to arrive—still on the phone with 911—Frankel's seizure stopped, but he remained disoriented. The complaint notes that he was now entering the "postictal stage of the seizure, when the brain is recovering, but the victim remains unaware of his surroundings and unable to understand directions."

Shortly after, Officer Kevin Sinnott of the Central Marin Police Authority arrived, and he rushed into Alice and Frankel's bedroom, attempting to restrain Frankel.

Sinnott "wrestled [Frankel] onto the bed, and attempted to handcuff him," the suit reads. "Just 25 seconds after his arrival, Sinnott's voice became angry, and he shouted to [Frankel], 'Stop. Stop fighting with me.' Alice responded loudly and emphatically: 'He's unconscious.' Sinnott argued with her: 'He's not unconscious. He's fighting.' Alice later warned, 'You're going to break his neck.'"

Sinnott then tased Frankel, causing him to hit his head on the bedroom furniture. Soon after, two more police officers and three EMTs arrived. Frankel was handcuffed and taken to a local hospital, still delirious. 

The lawsuit alleges that the officers attempted to cover up their use of force by pinning false charges on Frankel. According to the complaint, one questioning officer "blatantly lied to [Frankel] in a final attempt to trick him into making an incriminating statement," telling him that "when the officer got there you started attacking him."

The suit also claims that Sinnott falsely told one of Frankel's doctors that he was "squaring up" to fight him when he arrived, slowing down Frankel's eventual seizure diagnosis.

Frankel was eventually booked into the Marin County Jail on charges of resisting arrest and battery. Afterward, he was released "still wearing nothing but his underwear and a disposable hospital outfit; he had no wallet, phone or money," the complaint states. "He did not remember Alice's phone number in the jail and they would not help him contact her, so he walked in his hospital slippers about a half mile to a gas station," where workers helped him call a taxi.

While the Marin County District Attorney's office eventually refused to formally file charges against Frankel, he has still suffered lasting harm from his treatment by police. In addition to the physical injuries he sustained from Sinnott's use of force, Frankel spent over $10,000 fighting the police's attempts to have him prosecuted.

Officers "submitted the false reports or caused them to be submitted in an effort to smear [Frankel's] reputation, preoccupy him with a criminal case, intimidate him, and prevent him from pursuing claims against them for improper and excessive use of force," the complaint states, adding that police "acted willfully with the wrongful intention of injuring [Frankel] and for an improper and evil motive amounting to malice."