Federal suit filed against two Ignacio police officers

Alleges use of excessive force and filing a false police report

An excessive force claim against two Ignacio Police deputies is making its way through Federal District Court in Denver.

The civil suit was filed on March 12 this year by Felipe Rubio against IPD officers Jeremiah Mason and Tyler Phillips. He is seeking a jury trial and award of general, compensatory, exemplary, and punitive damages plus attorney fees and costs.

Rubio is represented by a Denver law firm, Holland, Holland Edwards & Grossman. According to its web site, the firm specializes in civil rights, police excessive force, malpractice, and nursing home abuse and neglect cases.

The lawsuit is based on an incident on March 16 or 17, 2013. It alleges that Mason and Phillips arrested Rubio and took him into town hall with his hands cuffed behind his back. It alleges that Mason kicked Rubio's right leg and broke it, sending him to the ground, then left him laying on the floor in severe pain for around 20 to 30 minutes before calling an ambulance, apparently because the ambulance would have cost the town money.

The suit alleges that Phillips did nothing to intervene or help Rubio, and that he and Mason then wrote a false incident report claiming that Rubio was already on the floor, tried to kick Mason and missed, and broke his leg when it hit the corner of a sink cabinet.

The suit alleges that before they wrote that report, they told the responding emergency medical technician what had actually happened, and the EMT included that in his pre-hospital care report.

Rubio suffered a spiral fracture of the large lower leg bone, the tibia. It was repaired with a rod running the full length of the bone, held by two pins at each end.

The suit alleges violations of Rubio's civil rights under the 4th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Attorney John Holland told the Times on Aug. 26 that the case is now moving through standard procedural items. Defendants filed a response denying the claims. Depositions are now being taken.

According to information from a federal court clerk, the case is scheduled for a pre-trial conference in May 2015.