PORTAGE — A 40-year-old man accused of battering his girlfriend and violating a "no contact" order two years ago is now suing the officers who forced entry into his home and unleashed a K-9 on him when he refused to show himself.
The suit — filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court by Larry King III — also claims police "harassed" the suspect at his home days later, "holding him at gunpoint" and ultimately arresting him without justification.
Portage police responded about 1:55 a.m. Feb. 7, 2016, to a residence in the 2900 block of Evelyn Street to take a battery report from a 22-year-old woman who had visible head injuries and met with officers outside, according to a police report narrative provided by the Portage Police Department.
A police report shows the victim permitted officers to enter the home she shared with King after police attempted to make contact numerous times.
King claims in the suit he was “sleeping in his bedroom” and that “officers had no reason to believe he posed a threat to themselves or others."
After warning King they would deploy a K-9 in the home, police allowed their police dog named Si to enter without a leash, records show.
"At the time Si was released, Mr. King was known to be unarmed, alone in the home, and officers had no indication of an exigent circumstances justifying their warrantless entry of Mr. King's home, the unlawful use of excessive force, or their retaliation against Mr. King for failing to answer the door, which he was not legally required to do," the complaint alleges.
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When police entered the dark bedroom where Si apprehended King, King was on the edge of the bed and refused to show his hands, according to the police report.
King also refused to release whatever items he was holding in a closed fist, leading police to believe he possibly had a weapon, the police report states. The items turned out to be an unlit cigarette and lighter.
King suffered a small cut on his nose and puncture wounds to his arm and shoulder area due to the K-9 deployment, according to the police report. He was transported to Porter Regional Hospital for treatment.
King was charged with domestic battery and resisting law enforcement in connection with the incident and was issued a 10-day “no contact” order barring any contact with the victim or the residence.
According to police, King’s mother picked him up from the hospital that day without being medically cleared and brought him back to his residence despite the temporary "no contact" order barring him from being there.
The lawsuit also claims Portage officers “harassed” him when they showed up at his house two days later on Feb. 9, 2016, "under the guise of a welfare check." Police records show King, while at the hospital, made comments and postings on social media that gave concern for the battery victim's safety.
When police arrived, both King and his mother exited the residence, hands raised as their cellphones recorded the incident. King’s mother repeatedly said she was afraid police were going to shoot her son.
King was arrested that day because he disregarded a signed agreement that he would immediately return to the jail upon release from the hospital, according to police.
Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said in a statement Wednesday the battery victim had visible injuries when they arrived and police ultimately utilized a K-9 when King would not respond to commands.