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Medic sues Vegas police

Times Staff Writer

A California National Guardsman from Stanton has sued the Las Vegas Metropolitan police, alleging that injuries inflicted by two police officers have prevented him from deploying to Iraq for a second tour.

Sgt. Mark England, a medic, said he suffered three fractured ribs and was hit by a Taser stun gun three times by the officers during an altercation at McCarran International Airport on March 10. The incident was recorded by an airport security camera and broadcast by a Las Vegas television station.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Nevada, alleges that the officers, identified only as Jennings and Clark, used excessive force when they pulled England away from a security checkpoint where he had gone to ask a Transportation Security Administration supervisor a question.

Police spokesman Officer Ramon Denby declined to comment on the lawsuit but said England was charged with resisting police and violating airport rules. A spokeswoman for the Clark County district attorney said officials were reviewing the case for possible prosecution.

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England, 38 and a 14-year National Guard veteran, said he served in Iraq as a combat medic from 2004 to 2005 and in Bosnia in 2001. His unit -- the 1st Battalion, 160th Infantry Regiment -- deployed to Iraq in June.

According to the lawsuit, England argued with airport personnel over whether a beverage he was holding could be taken through a security checkpoint. After missing his flight, England said, he asked to speak with the TSA supervisor.

England said Jennings tried to handcuff him “without justification.” England said he backed away and asked why he was being detained. England said he was then beaten by Jennings with a baton and subdued with a stun gun three times by Clark, causing three broken ribs and an injury to his left eye.

The officers involved were cleared of wrongdoing in an internal investigation.

England said he hoped soon to get medical clearance from the military to join his unit in Iraq. The lawsuit asks for more than $75,000 in damages.

hgreza@latimes.com


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