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Jury Favors Oakdale Officers

POSTED July 14, 2009 3:38 p.m.
Getting a favorable decision, a federal jury on July 9 found the actions of two Oakdale police officers to be proper in a lawsuit filed by a suspect after a 2004 arrest.
Mark Bailey was injured after evading Oakdale police on his motorcycle during a Feb. 24, 2004 incident where Bailey was also driving intoxicated. According to the Oakdale Police Department, Bailey evaded officers while driving at a high rate of speed through Oakdale streets. He later fled on foot, where he began jumping fences in his efforts to avoid capture. While jumping over a fence leading to a school, Bailey injured his knee while landing in the schoolyard, where officers took him into custody.
Bailey’s blood alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit, according to Oakdale police.
Bailey complained to officers that his knee hurt, but agreed he could walk to a nearby location in Cottleswoods Park where an ambulance could gain access. According to police, officers on the scene, ambulance personnel, and Bailey himself all believed Bailey had suffered nothing more than a sprained or dislocated knee.
Medical personnel later found Bailey had sustained an injury to the main artery located in his knee that supplies blood to his lower leg. Surgeons at Doctors Hospital in Modesto had to later amputate part of his leg.
Bailey sued the city and two Oakdale officers, Dan Taylor and Brian Shimmel, for using excessive force against him and failing to provide medical care, charging that their inaction resulted in the loss of his right leg.
A federal jury in the United States District Court in Fresno found Bailey caused his own injury and officers did not use unreasonable force against him, and also ruled the officers did not fail to provide Bailey with adequate medical care.
Jon Hamilton of Ferguson, Praet and Sherman, a firm that focuses in matters involving police litigations, represented the officers.

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