A Fort Collins woman has sued the Fort Collins Police Department as well as the city for the alleged violent arrest and use of excessive force she claims she endured at the hands of an off-duty police officer. Now the taxpayers of Fort Collins will be shelling out $125,000 because this cop couldn’t control his violent tendencies.
The officer, Stephen Sparacio, arrested Kimberly Chancellor outside of her apartment complex on October 6, 2017. Sparacio claims he witnessed Chancellor driving at a high rate of speed, weaving in and out of traffic, and he was forced to make contact with the motorist. But Chancellor can be heard yelling at Sparacio claiming she had no idea who he was. This appeared obvious as he was in plain clothes, on a private motorcycle, and off-duty. Any violent rapist could make the same claim.
Cell phone footage was taken by a resident through what appears to be a home’s window which shows how scary of a situation Chancellor endured as this unknown man attacked her.
After following the officer back to his motorcycle, Chancellor stoops down to retrieve her identification but pulls back out of fear supposedly. That’s when Sparacio takes her down, pinning the much smaller weighted woman under him.
David Lane filed the lawsuit this past Oct. 4th and claims the police department employs a “policy of inaction” and his client was the victim of an officer who violated multiple departmental policies. Two reviews of the incident, one by the Internal Review Board and another by the Citizen Review Board both determined he violated police procedures during the arrest but couldn’t come to a consensus on whether or not unnecessary force was used to apprehend the woman.
Remember, this cop merely claimed Chancellor violated a traffic law, a citable offense, yet he employed violence and force against her while off-duty.
In the lawsuit filed last year, Lane cited a pattern of neglect and abuses carried out by Fort Collins Police. This week, he called the settlement “the tip of the iceberg” in terms of Fort Collins police-related lawsuits.
“My law firm has four cases pending against the Fort Collins police department for using excessive force,” Lane said in a statement provided to the Coloradoan. “Three of the four cases have videos of officers brutalizing women. This settlement is the tip of the iceberg and much more taxpayer money will be spent on cleaning up the messes made by the police department.”
Michaella Surat was a sorority girl who was violently slammed to the ground. An 80-year-old Fort Collins man, Stanley Cropp, was violently tackled by Fort Collins police while walking in his neighborhood. Joe Heneghan was pepper sprayed after refusing to show his ID and denied a Fort Collins cop entry into his home. The cop then teabagged Heneghan with his crotch as the man sat in handcuffs on the sidewalk.
Also of interest was the case of shoplifting suspect Natasha Patnode who was arrested and brutalized by a Fort Collins cop inside a Target store in 2018. Patnode’s lawsuit is wrapping up soon, after a former Fort Collins police officer struck her with his fist and baton 50 times, sat on her and tased her while arresting her on suspicion of shoplifting at Target in 2018.
Fort Collins spokeswoman Amanda King confirmed the settlement with Chancellor and the pending settlement with Patnode in an email, according to the Coloradoan.
Each case was cited in Chancellor’s lawsuit against the department and the city.
Lane says it was perfectly normal for Chancellor to begin walking away from a man who was shouting at her. We agree. She continued to walk away until Sparacio identified himself as a law enforcement officer and promised to arrest her if she continued.
The lawsuit claims Chancellor suffered multiple cuts and bruises on her face, arms, and knees. She also reportedly had a “egg-sized bump” and a cut on her forehead which lasted many days.
Chancellor was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and careless driving. She pleaded guilty to careless driving and the obstruction charge was dropped.
Fort Collins has paid out an average of $670,000 per year for the last 10 years for police misconduct. Unfortunately, instead of the actual officers having to pay, it’s the American taxpayer which foots the bill.