Biker sues Lake Worth police officer after dash cam footage captured officer running him over with his SUV as he tried to flee a traffic stop on foot – plaintiff, Dustin Bates, suffered fractured spine, broken leg and ribs
Biker is suing a Texas cop after dash cam footage captured the officer running over the man with his SUV as he tried to flee a traffic stop on foot
Motorcycle rider Dustin Bates is suing officer Jonathan Granado of Lake Worth, Texas after he allegedly ran him over with his squad vehicle on Nov 23, 2020
Granado’s dashcam footage captured the cop chasing Bates down a Texas highway after he failed to pull over for a traffic stop
Video opens with officer Jonathan Granado attempted to pull Bates over after noticing that his license plate did not match those of the numbers for the motorbike
Bates was later seen fleeing from Granado on foot off of an exit on the Marine Creek Parkway before he was struck in the back by the officer’s squad vehicle
Strike caused Bates to fracture his spine, three ribs and his right leg causing permanent scarring
Bates who had a lengthy criminal history, was found to have an active parole warrant and was also in possession of drugs
Although officer Granado was not charged, Bates’ lawsuit claims the officer intentionally hit him after he crashed the motorbike and attempted to flee on foot
Bates has requested a jury trial and is seeking unspecified punitive damages
A motorcycle rider injured while fleeing police is suing a police officer after dashcam captured the officer running him over when he ditched his bike and attempted to continue his flight from the law on foot.
Dustin Bates filed the federal lawsuit on Monday claiming that Lake Worth Officer Jonathan Granado injured him after he struck him with his squad vehicle on November 23, 2020, with disastrous consequences.
The chase had been captured on Granado’s dashcam which saw Bates fleeing from the officer after he attempted to pull him over at the intersection of Lake Worth Boulevard and Boat Club Road.
Granado has since claimed he did not intend to hit Bates with his vehicle which caused him to fracture his spine, three ribs and his right leg in two places, according to the suit.
The Fort Worth man is suing the Lake Worth police officer in federal court, calling an incident where he was running away from cops on foot and struck by a police SUV excessive force.
Neither the Bates nor officer Granado was charged with a crime. Now, Bates is suing the former officer.
Bates has requested a jury trial and has asked for unspecified punitive damages.
Although the officer was not charged, but the lawsuit claims the officer intentionally hit the motorcyclist after he crashed the motorbike and attempted to flee on foot.
The incident kicks of with Granado attempting to pull over Bates for a license plate that didn’t match his motorcycle. However, Bates sped off.
The chase lasted roughly two minutes before Bates crashed his bike and ran off. That’s when the officer drove his SUV off the road and hit Bates head-on.
Granado’s body camera footage revealed the officer cursing right when his cruiser hit Bates. He has described the crash as an accident.
Police dashcam video captures Lake Worth police officer Jonathan Granado allegedly hitting a man fleeing on a bike, with his police cruiser
The video opens with Bates on a motorbike in front of Granado’s squad vehicle while they were waiting at a red light at the intersection.
After running the bike’s license plate, Granado notes that the tag did not match the records of the motorcycle.
The officer turned on his lights and chased Bates who sped up and crossed to another lane. Bates continued to make his way down the highway before cutting over to the exit.
Granado followed Bates and merged onto Interstate Loop 280 with the biker continuing to evade him.
He continued his pursuit and tailed him off on another exit towards Marine Creek Parkway where Bates was then seen attempting to flee from him on foot.
As Bates ran towards the other side of the exit, Granado hit him in the back with his vehicle after pulling off to the side.
Officers are then heard barking commands at Bates before taking him into custody.
One of the officers in the footage can be heard yelling at him to put his hands behind his back or risk being shot.
Bates also had to undergo surgery as a result due to the injuries he sustained from the crash which is said to have left permanent scarring.
He has since filed the suit with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
A criminal investigation was opened following the crash with the details being given to a grand jury in March of last year who then ruled against taking any kind of action in the case.
Lake Worth Chief of Police JT Manoushagian spoke at a Monday press conference to further address the incident.
‘What I saw on the video is not in keeping with the actions we expect our officers to take,’ he said, according to NBC DFW.
‘We caused injury to someone and it was due to the officer’s poor judgment. I was disappointed. I was sad.’
Manoushagian said that the Lake Worth police department opened up their own investigation and discovered two violations had been committed in terms of operating a vehicle without injury.
However, Granado was found to have not broken any policy in relation to the pursuit.
He was hit with an 80-hour suspension and was to perform administrative duties until the grand jury made their decision. Granado had briefly resigned from the department in December before they ruled against taking action. He also had to undergo training in relation to properly operating emergency vehicles.
‘We believe that using progressive discipline and procedural justice is important when dealing and administering justice for our officers,’ Chief Maoushagian also said at the conference.
‘We do have to take into account that everyone makes mistakes in their job.
‘Considering this is a young officer very early in his career … we would never have seasoned, tenured officers who had had the opportunity to learn from mistakes if we fired them all after their first mistake. ‘So, after a review of the circumstances, knowing that this was an accident, the officer did not intentionally mean to strike Mr. Bates with his car, he accepted responsibility for that, he was disciplined for that. I believe that was the right decision given the circumstances.’
The chief also added that Bates previously had a criminal history and was found to have a parole warrant and was also in possession of drugs.
‘He had a lengthy criminal history,’ Manoushagian said. ‘He committed a felony by fleeing in the motorcycle.
‘He was also committing a felony by being in possession of half an ounce of methamphetamine and then on top of all of that had a parole warrant.’
The charges against Bates have since been dropped, according to one of his attorneys.
Manoushagian said that Granado stopped the chase after he says he saw a cloud of dust which was assumed to be a result of Bate’s motorcycle crashing.
‘As he tracked Mr. Bates with his eyes, he began to veer off the roadway,’ he continued. ‘Just as many people do, where your eyes go the wheel of your car follows.’
He also said that Granado was going at a speed of 45mph when he hit Bates but was already applying his brakes before pulling over and striking him.
The vehicle continued to slide as the chief claimed that the grass was wet when Granado pulled over.
The suit, however, claimed that Granado’s brakes had not been applied before striking Bates.
Bates’ attorney said that Granado and the other officers at the scene had violated his client’s constitutional rights to be free from excessive deadly force during the course of his arrest which ‘was objectively unreasonable under the circumstances and inflicted unnecessary injury, pain, suffering, and permanent physical disfigurement upon Mr. Bates.’
He also added that Bates fleeing on foot did not present any type of threat towards the officers.
The suit had also claimed that an officer identified as James O’Bannon made scathing comments towards Bates after he had been hit.
‘Probably shouldn’t have run. A lot of people think we can’t chase motorcycles,’ O’Bannon allegedly said. ‘That’s wrong. We can and we will. Welcome to Lake Worth.’
‘This is what happens when your run from the law. If you would have just stopped it would have been fine.’
‘I’m not going to sugar coat it for you, you run from us this is what happens.’
Manoushagian has since apologized for O’Bannon’s alleged comments and said that he had been reprimanded for his actions.
‘The quote by the officer on (the) scene does not reflect the attitudes and principles of our department. Specifically, the insinuation, of ‘Welcome to Lake Worth,’ the chief said in his statement.
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