According to KYUK, a Bethel jury has awarded $500,000 to a Hooper Bay man for harm caused by tasering delivered by village police officers during an incident in December 2006.
The jury found that the plaintiff, Thomas "Boya" Olson, now 35, of Hooper Bay had been tasered between 15 and 18 times, which the jury determined constituted excessive force and was a substantial factor in causing harm to Olson.
There were four defendants in the case: Three Hooper Bay officers (Dimitri Oaks, Charles Simon, and Nathan Joseph) and the city of Hooper Bay itself.
The particulars of what happened the night in question were somewhat in dispute, but the parties agree that officers arrested a sleeping Olson at home for consuming alcohol in the dry village, and while he was being led out of the house in handcuffs, a struggle ensued. And then the tasings.
Officers said they continued to tase Olson because not all of their attempts were making good contact and he continued to kick at them.
Olson admitted to kicking them, but said he was on his stomach and handcuffed. He also said that at one point, he was tasered simultaneously by more than one officer.
The court will consider additional punitive damages seperately, in proceedings scheduled for May 8 in Bethel.
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