Salt Lake City and its police department are not liable in the case of a disabled veteran who says officers used excessive force in arresting him two years ago at Liberty Park, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Miles Lund, a 74-year-old Korean War-era veteran, was feeding the ducks at the park when officers arrested him Nov. 25, 2006. Because of a disability, Lund was not able to comply with an order to raise his arms and was tackled by police, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

Judge Bruce Jenkins granted a motion for summary judgment for two police officers and the city Monday, ruling there was no negligence on their part. However, Salt Lake police officer Bryce Curdie, who tackled Lund, remains a defendant in the case, which is now headed for trial.

Officers responded to Liberty Park after a man and his wife called 911 and said Lund had pointed a gun at them when their dog scared away some ducks, attorneys said.

An officer ordered Lund to put his hands behind his head. When Lund did not comply with the officer's order, Curdie rushed Lund and tackled him, grabbing him around the neck while two other officers grabbed his legs, according to the lawsuit. Lund suffered subcranial bleeding, requiring surgery to remove a blood clot.

An attorney for Curdie and the city said the officer believed Lund posed "an imminent threat" because police believed Lund had a gun and would not comply with orders.

"There was no basis for the officer to believe" Lund was disabled, Wesley Robinson said. "The officer's decision under these changing and stressful circumstances was reasonable."

Lund's attorney, Clark Newhall, said police used excessive force in making the arrest. A Salt Lake Police Department internal investigation found Curdie's actions were "unreasonable" given the man's age and ability. Robinson, however, said that investigation does not mean Lund's civil rights were violated.


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