|The Victim: Harrison Orr.|
A federal judge has upheld a verdict in favor of a 78-year-old who was disabled by a stroke and had been a model citizen until he was stopped by two young California Highway Patrol officers for driving five miles under the speed limit. In the course of arresting the disabled man, one officer punched him in the gut, knocked him to the ground and then falsely accused him of resisting arrest.
"The verdict was vindication of the obvious fact that, however they were trained, there was no need for a CHP officer to punch a harmless, disabled senior citizen," said attorney Michael Haddad on behalf of client, Harrison Orr.
Orr sued California, its highway patrol, and CHP officers Jay Brame and Terry Plumb, seeking over a 2013 traffic stop. He was 76 at the time.
Suffering from slurred speech and balancing problems due to a stroke, Orr was pulled over because he was driving too slow. Although Orr told officers that he did not drink or use drugs, and that a stroke had left him with slurred speech and unable to balance well, the officers subjected him to two field sobriety tests.
A breathalyzer test then confirmed that Orr had not had any alcohol. But the officers decided to arrest him anyway, saying he might be on drugs. Orr initially cooperated with the arrest, but objected when the officers wanted to handcuff him, citing his balance problems. In an attempt to handcuff Orr, the two CHP officers grabbed him from either side and Plumb punched him in the stomach, knocking hime to the ground.