Man files lawsuit against VA hospital

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A man is filing a lawsuit against the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, claiming he was beaten and injured after the Utah-BYU football game.

This is a civil rights action that claims VA police used excessive force when they arrested Greg Davis for being drunk in public. Davis and his attorneys say they have the witnesses and the evidence to back up their case that police went too far.

Man files lawsuit against VA hospital

After leaving the football game, Davis and his fiancée, Claci Lawrence, were passing through the hospital parking lot to meet up with their ride home. They were approached by VA police, who were accusing them of being drunk in public. They say that's when the situation escalated.

"I made no threats to him, no threatening move at all. I was completely cooperative," Davis said.

According to their complaint filed today, Davis was "slammed into the fence several times," "elbowed ... in the head," sprayed in the face with pepper spray and "dragged across the road by the handcuffs."

"When I seen that, it was just like way too much," witness Paul Loya told us back on Nov. 25. He says he witnessed everything and recorded the incident on cell phone video; then he says his phone was confiscated by the arresting officers and returned days later with the video erased.

Recently, Loya says VA investigators took his phone again and replaced it with a new one in an attempt to retrieve possible evidence.

"He had no right to do this. If it were just a normal citizen who did this to me, he'd be behind bars," Davis said.

Man files lawsuit against VA hospital

Davis was cited for four violations, including public intoxication and interfering with an arresting officer -- charges he says aren't warranted.

Today the VA hospital spokeswoman Jill Atwood released a brief statement, which reads: "This medical center takes these allegations very seriously, and while we do not discuss ongoing litigation, we want everyone to know that we consider the safety and security of staff, patients and the general public a high priority."

Davis' attorney says the VA regional director has a team of out-of-state investigators looking at the case.

"[We want] to have awareness brought to these officers' actions, especially if this is a system-wide problem that they're having," attorney Alyson Carter said.

After we did the original story, we were contacted by a few people reporting similar incidents involving VA police officers. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) we've filed a request to view documents relating to these incidents and should receive those in the next few weeks.

We'll continue to follow this story and give you updates.


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Whit Johnson


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