Lone Tree man sues Gree­ley po­lice, Weld County jail­ers

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Kirk Mitchell Kirk Mitchell: 303-954-1206, kmitchell@den­ver­post.com or @kirk­mitchell or den­ver­post.com/cold­cases

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.

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