» Personal Injury Attorney with Joyce and Reyes: Video Evidence Crucial in Plaintiff’s Case Against Tampa Police

Personal Injury Attorney with Joyce and Reyes: Video Evidence Crucial in Plaintiff’s Case Against Tampa Police

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 3, 2014 – The City of Tampa, Florida, will pay $165,000 to settle a lawsuit stemming from an arrest in 2010.

Jacob P. Cowie, 30, filed the suit against four Tampa police officers after sustaining injuries while being arrested following the Krewe of Sant’Yago Knight Parade in Ybor City. Cowie was charged with disorderly conduct, but those charges were later dropped.

“When someone alleges excessive force against law enforcement officers, it often means a long and difficult legal battle,” said Tampa personal injury attorney Robert Joyce, who is not involved in the case. “Law enforcement agencies typically face numerous lawsuit threats, and without solid evidence and expert counsel, the plaintiff’s case often goes nowhere.”

Cowie alleged that police officers apprehended him when he came to the aid of a friend who was being ejected from a bar called Gaspar’s Grotto. Officers said Cowie attempted to strike the first officer to grab him, which Cowie denied. That officer then forced Cowie to the sidewalk, at which point his face struck a metal bench on the sidewalk.

Officers said they kicked, punched and used a Taser on Cowie — who is deaf — because he would not stop resisting or let them see his hands. A bystander recorded the arrest with a cell phone, and that recording appeared to contradict the officers’ account of the incident. In an order denying the city’s motion to dismiss the case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun III said that the video appeared to show Cpl. Joseph J. Reese holding Cowie’s right arm even before the officers began striking him.

Cowie suffered three broken facial bones and a shoulder injury that required surgery and, he said, crushed his hopes of playing professional golf.

Reese and Officers Jayson G. Uriarte, Gregory Pryor and John R. Gustafson were cleared following an internal affairs investigation. The city maintains that the officers did nothing wrong, but city council members voted to approve the settlement in order to avoid the expense and risk of trial on December 19, 2013.

“The bystander’s video of the arrest was surely crucial in this case,” attorney Joyce added. “Without it, I think the case may very well have been dismissed on the testimony of the officers.”

Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
Call: 813.251.2007


View Larger Map

  • Judge denies pill mill pharmacist’s request to end house arrest
    A federal judge denied a former “pill mill” pharmacist his request to reduce his sentence of 30 months of house arrest. In August 2012, Steven Goodman was sentenced for providing more than 1 million prescription pills to the owners of “pain management” clinics in Wellington, Florida.  U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra sentenced Goodman to 30 […]
  • Bill introduced to toughen auto safety penalties
    In the wake of the mishandled General Motors vehicle recall, legislation has been introduced that would greatly increase penalties for automakers that manufacture unsafe vehicles. The bill would provide for up to life in prison for auto-safety violations that result in fatalities. The bill was introduced by Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. It may have little […]
  • Owner of Florida pill mill sentenced to 15 years in prison
    The owner of three Florida pill mills that made millions of dollars has received a 15-year prison sentence. Zachary Timothy Rose pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and was facing up to 30 years in prison, but he received a reduced sentence after he testified against doctors who worked with him and employees of the clinics […]
  • Pinellas Sheriff’s Office settles wrongful death lawsuit for Over One Million Dollars
    The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has paid $1.15 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit with the estate of a mentally ill woman who died in the Pinellas County jail after refusing medicine and food. The payment has settled all state and federal claims against the jail and its employees. Michael DeGraw filed suit over […]
  • Patients ER Visits for Brain Injuries Increase
    According to a new medical report, visits to hospital emergency rooms for brain injuries have increased in recent years. The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, studied emergency department visits from a nationwide sample of hospitals from 2006 to 2010. During that period, the number of total emergency room visits grew […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required