CHEYENNE – A Cheyenne man filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming on Wednesday against the city and members of the Cheyenne Police Department, alleging excessive use of force during a 2015 DUI arrest.
The complaint argues that the city of Cheyenne, Police Chief Brian Kozak and three other Cheyenne Police officers violated Kort Kinstler’s civil rights in 2015 when police officers wrestled him to the ground and used a Taser on him following a DUI stop in the 600 block of West Pershing Boulevard.
The lawsuit was filed on the 52-year-old Kinstler’s behalf by his lawyer, Dion Custis. It asks the city and police officers for attorney’s fees and money to compensate Kinstler for humiliation and embarrassment, emotional and mental injuries, pain and suffering, loss of employment, and physical injury and ongoing pain.
The lawsuit says the officers had no probable cause to arrest Kinstler and had no justification to use force on him.
During the incident, Kinstler suffered injuries to his head, shoulder, face and back; a concussion; and bruising to his entire body, according to the complaint.
Cheyenne Police Department spokesman Officer Kevin Malatesta and City Attorney Sylvia Hackl each said Thursday they couldn’t comment on pending litigation.
But according to Cheyenne Police Department arrest reports from three officers at the scene Kinstler was pulled over at about 2:25 a.m. Oct. 30, 2015, for driving 16 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
When the officer approached the car, Kinstler “smelled strongly of an odor of an alcoholic beverage,” and had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.
The arresting officer’s report states that Kinstler became “verbally combative” during the field sobriety tests, and refused to do a turn-and-walk test and a one-leg stand.
Kinstler also failed some field sobriety tests and refused a portable breath test. A blood draw later revealed that his blood alcohol concentration was 0.19 – more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.