Wounded warrior claims police brutality

Lt. Col. Donald Blake Settle
Lt. Col. Donald Blake Settle

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Fort Knox wounded warrior has filed a lawsuit claiming police brutality.

Lieutenant Colonel Donald Blake Settle said in July 2012 a group of five or six officers thought he was a homeless man and told him to leave Mid City Mall where he was getting a card.

Settle said the officers forced him to the ground and asked him several questions.

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According to Settle, he had trouble answering the questions because he lives with a traumatic brain injury suffered while serving overseas.

Now, he has filed a lawsuit against the officers involved claiming he was assaulted and wrongfully detained.

"This man has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan six times so he is a true war hero," his attorney, Thomas Clay, said. "He was at the Mid City Mall getting a birthday card."

Suttle says he was approached by an officer during the January, 2012 trip to the store.

"I said 'have I done something wrong?' He said 'well, there's no panhandling in here," Suttle explained.

"They thought he was homeless, but as soon as they asked him to produce some kind of ID, he reached in his pocket in his vest and was going to retrieve his military ID which shows he is a military colonel but before he could do that they apparently felt threatened," Clay said.

"He said 'you need to get your hands up out of your pockets up in the air where I can see them.' When I looked back, he had his taser up in my face," Suttle said.

Lt. Col. Suttle suffered a head injury while fighting for our country and has trouble communicating, especially in stressful situations.

"This injury he suffered was really severe. It was a suicide bomber attack on an outpost in Afghanistan and the suicide bomber detonated his explosive pack about 40 feet away from Settle," Clay said.

His attorney says a complaint was filed with LMPD, but their not happy with the outcome and says this suit isn't about the money.

"The purpose of the suit is to increase awareness that people who come back from these deployments from Iraq and Afghanistan have problems which defy simple analysis. You can't just walk up to somebody and just because he's not able to answer questions coherently assume that he's homeless or there's some drug problem. This man was not on drugs, he had consumed no alcohol, but suffers from a traumatic brain injury," Clay said.

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