» 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

  • Bicycle accident deaths on the rise
    In Florida and nationwide, the number of deaths in bicycle accidents is rising. Advocates say bicycle safety needs to be improved. According to a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of bicycle fatalities rose by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012. There were 621 bicycle deaths in 2010, 680 in 2011 […]
  • Study finds traumatic brain injury can accelerate atrophy of the brain
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can accelerate the rate of brain atrophy, according to a new study published in the Annals of Neurology. According to the study, the brains of patients with TBI were estimated to be older than their actual chronological age. The study examined patients who had suffered brain injuries from car accidents, falls, […]
  • Exhibit at Florida Capitol heightens awareness of brain injuries
    During the month of March, an exhibit in the grand rotunda of the Florida State Capitol featured 100 masks created by survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Brain Injury Association of Florida (BIAF) organized the exhibit, “The Faces of Brain Injury,” to raise awareness and educate the public about the needs of brain injury […]
  • Widow of slain Florida cyclist files wrongful death lawsuit
    A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the widow of Walter Reyes, a bicyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Florida on January 21. Maribel Reyes filed the lawsuit against Alejandro Alvarez, the alleged driver, and Rodrigo Alvarez, his father and the person to whom the vehicle was registered. Miami-Dade police said […]
  • Family files wrongful death lawsuit over Tampa Bay motorcyclist’s death
    The family of Keith Williamson, a motorcyclist who was killed in a crash, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and the Clearwater Police Department. The crash involved a high-speed chase on the Courtney Campbell Causeway Bridge in the Tampa Bay area. Williamson was riding at the front of a […]

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



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

* indicates required