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SALT LAKE CITY — An apparent Good Samaritan who attempted to render first aid at an accident scene claims in a federal lawsuit that three Sandy police officers beat him up.
Returning to his Sandy home on May 2, 2009, Andrew Mismash, 42, came across a crash involving a motorcycle and a truck in front of his yard. He asked the motorcyclist, who was bleeding profusely from his head, if he needed help and then retrieved first aid supplies from his house, according to the complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court.
Mismash, the suit says, was helping the man when a Sandy police officer started verbally abusing the victim. The motorcyclist asked the officer to call for medical assistance, but the officer told him to shut up, the lawsuit states.
Mismash, too, requested that police call for medical help and was told to leave the scene, the suit says.
As he walked toward his house, two officers pushed him from behind onto the tailgate of a truck parked in his driveway, according to the suit. A third officer then punched him in the back before the other two slammed him to the ground. An officer, the suit says, continued to strike him in the back, grab and pull at his arms, and then drove a knee into his calves.
"Mr. Mismash had not done anything, other than rendering first aid to the injured motorcyclist," according to the complaint.
Names in the complaint are the city of Sandy, Sandy Police Department, Chief Stephen Chapman and officers Thomas Tuft, Cody Stromberg and Matt Dominguez. The suit seeks an unspecified amount for violations of Mishmash's civil rights, medical expenses, lost wages and general damages and at least $50,000 in punitive damages.
Sandy police spokesman Sgt. John Arnold said he recalled the incident but was not aware of the lawsuit.