Lone Tree man sues Greeley police, Weld County jailers
Jay Allen Frey acknowledges some blame. After all, he did lead Greeley police on a chase after they tried to pull him over for a traffic offense.
But that didn’t give the officers the right to bash the tattoo artist’s head into concrete after he surrendered, or allow Weld County jailers to let him go blind in one eye from the injuries because of inattention, according to his lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver.
Frey’s lawsuit names a long list of defendants including police Officers Greg Tharp and Steve Doney; Mayor Tom Norton and Police Chief Jerry Garner; Sheriff Steve Reams and jail Director Nancy Kroll, the county commissioners and Correct Care Solutions, a medical provider.
Frey, of Lone Tree, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, according to a lawsuit filed by Westminster attorney Neil MacFarlane.
At 5:30 p.m. on March 18, 2015, Tharp and Doney were attempting to stop Frey for traffic infractions when Frey led them on a chase, according to the lawsuit. Frey kept going until “the vehicle Frey was driving had become disabled.” Frey then ran into a residential neighborhood.
Frey was several blocks away from the disabled vehicle when Tharp caught up with him on a concrete driveway in a residential neighborhood. Tharp ordered Frey to go “prone.” At that point, Frey dropped to his hands and knees.
The lawsuit claims that Tharp “struck and beat Frey with his hands and feet and instruments, knocking him flat on the concrete driveway, and bounced his head off that surface several times.”
“The force used by the officers was excessive, without cause, unreasonable and totally unwarranted,” the lawsuit says. Frey suffered many visible wounds, was in and out of consciousness, and was taken to a hospital.
Frey was taken to the jail, where he was not properly treated for a hernia, head and eye injuries, the lawsuit says. The retina in his right eye was damaged during the arrest and he is now permanently blind in that eye. Since then, he has suffered constant pain, the lawsuit says.
Frey claims the jail refused to treat his hernia. It wasn’t until eight months later after Frey was released from a halfway house that a surgeon told him his hernia was an emergency situation. Surgery was performed the next day. He was also not treated for several bruised and broken ribs.
The jail waited 88 days to seek specialized care for his loss of vision, the lawsuit says. He should have received care within three days, however. Surgery to prevent his eye from “dying” was not performed until Aug. 13, 2015, the lawsuit says. By that time there was little hope of restoring his vision, it says.