On Friday, Nov. 16, the Kent Police Department posted the following statement on their Facebook page, refuting another media outlet’s coverage of a recent jury verdict:
Kent Police Want the Public to Have the Complete Story
In an effort to ensure that complete information was provided to the public on the recent Van Horn Lawsuit, we uploaded the press release that was sent to Steve Hunter/Kent Reporter.
We felt it was important that many of the facts that had not been provided previously be provided in a follow-up article.
Unfortunately, the most recent article titled, “Man loses civil suit against city, two Kent Police Officers for excessive force at rock concert” still falls short of providing the complete information and context of what took place.
For this reason we have shared the information originally given to the Kent Reporter on our main Kent PD website.
You can find that by clicking here: https://www.kentwa.gov/resi…/public-safety/police-department
Patrick Van Horn, a 52-year-old Marysville man, lost his lawsuit against the City of Kent and two of its police officers. Van Horn’s lawsuit alleged the officers used excessive force when they arrested him several years ago. After a four-day trial in King County Superior Court last week, it took the jury less than an hour to reach its unanimous verdict in favor of the City and the officers.
Van Horn was arrested during a rock concert at the ShoWare Center in Kent on October 9, 2015. Event staff received a report that Van Horn had deliberately poured beer on a 12-year-old girl and her father. When staff contacted Van Horn about the reported assault, he refused to step out to the lobby to discuss what happened. Event staff then called for assistance from Kent police officers.
When Detective Eric Moore and Officer Tami Honda arrived, Van Horn again refused to exit the seating area to discuss the accusation against him. Detective Moore took hold of Van Horn’s left arm and told him to turn around and put his hands behind his back. Instead of complying, Van Horn tensed his left arm and used his right hand to grab Detective Moore’s shoulder. During last week’s trial, Van Horn admitted grabbing Detective Moore but claimed he had tripped and was merely trying to keep from falling.
When Van Horn grabbed him, Detective Moore delivered a single knee strike to Van Horn’s abdomen. And Officer Honda used her Taser on Van Horn when she saw him grab her partner. The Taser was not effective, however, and Van Horn testified at trial that he did not even notice it at the time.
Van Horn asked the jury to award him $480,000, arguing that the arrest aggravated his arthritic shoulder and caused him to need shoulder surgery. But his orthopedic surgeon testified that Van Horn would have needed the surgery eventually, even without the arrest. Another medical expert testified that MRI images taken a few weeks after the arrest showed no injury to Van Horn’s shoulder, only chronic degenerative conditions.
Before trial, the Court dismissed Van Horn’s claims for false arrest, civil conspiracy, negligence, and negligent hiring, retention, training, and supervision due to lack of evidence to support those claims. Then the jury unanimously rejected Van Horn’s remaining claims for assault and battery.
The City of Kent is gratified that, after considering the evidence, the jury concluded both officers acted lawfully and appropriately under the circumstances.