Mundelein, IL — Steven Kotlinski says he was sitting compliantly during a traffic stop early on New Year’s Day when two Mundelein police officers pulled him from the car and shocked him five times with their Tasers.
Kotlinski, 54, said the officers inflicted “intense, paralyzing pain,” and his lawyer filed a federal lawsuit against the police Tuesday, claiming they used excessive force without provocation.
The Hawthorn Woods man’s wife was behind the wheel when they were pulled over about 2:30 a.m., according to the lawsuit. During the stop, captured by the squad car’s video camera, Kotlinski got out of the car to check on his wife, Jean, as officers were giving her sobriety tests, the lawsuit said.
Steven Kotlinski had been drinking, though tests showed his wife had not, said his lawyer, Christopher Smith.
The officers drew their Tasers and ordered him back into the vehicle, and he complied, telling the officers he has a heart condition, the lawsuit said. But as he sat buckled in his seat, one of the officers opened the door, tried to pull him out, then fired his Taser into Kotlinski, the lawsuit said. Both officers continued to shock him after he fell to the ground, according to the lawsuit.
“Basically, you have no control of any of your actions” when shocked, Kotlinski said.
Mundelein police Deputy Chief Eric Guenther said he could not comment on the suit but noted that Kotlinski was convicted of obstructing an officer. He was sentenced to time served and 100 hours of community service, but was found not guilty of aggravated battery in the incident, court records show.
Kotlinski said the battery charges were “fabricated” and is appealing the obstruction conviction.
An officer testified in court that Kotlinski pelted police with obscenities after the Tasering and said, according to court records, “‘I hope I die. That way my wife and kids will become rich.'”
Smith said Kotlinski’s anger is irrelevant to the excessive force claim. The suit alleges the officers violated the Kotlinskis’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
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