Police sued over St. Patrick’s Day assault

2013-03-13T00:30:00Z Police sued over St. Patrick’s Day assaultBy John Grant Emeigh of The Montana Standard Montana Standard

An Idaho man is suing Butte and Billings police claiming he was assaulted by an officer while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Butte last year.

Shea Lamp alleges a Billings police officer who was assisting Butte police in patrolling during the festivities slammed him to the ground and caused serious injuries to his face. Lamp claims the officer, identified in the lawsuit as Shawn Mayo, violated his rights, because the alleged assault was not provoked.

The lawsuit was filed recently in Butte District Court.

The complaint alleges that on the evening of March 17, 2012, Lamp got into verbal altercation with another man while standing outside of a Butte bar. As Lamp was walking away from the argument, he said he was “attacked from behind and taken face first to the pavement.”

After he hit the ground, Lamp claims he realized it was a police officer, who he later identified as Mayo. Lamp was handcuffed, taken to the police station and then to the St. James Healthcare to be treated for his injuries, the document contends.

Lamp received a broken nose, a broken eye socket and a compression fracture to the spine.

The lawsuit states Lamp was never charged with a crime.

Butte County Attorney Eileen Joyce told The Montana Standard she is aware of the lawsuit and an attorney with the Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority (MMIA) will handle the case. Joyce said the county’s liability insurance is through the MMIA and they will defend Butte police and Butte-Silver Bow County, which are named in the lawsuit.

Lamp also names Mayo, Billings police and the City of Billings as defendants in the lawsuit.

Billings Police Chief Rich St. John declined commenting about the lawsuit.

“We are precluded from commenting on the active litigation,” St. John said Tuesday afternoon.

He referred comment to Mayo’s legal representative, Michele Braukmann, of Moulton Bellingham, P.C., and Brendon Rohan, of Poore, Roth and Robinson, P.C., legal representative for both Billings and Butte police departments.

Lamp is seeking unspecified monetary damages for physical and emotional distress. He is represented by Missoula attorney Tim Dailey.

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(6) Comments

  1. Stavo
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    Stavo - March 13, 2013 8:59 pm
    Best thing to do....is not attend. If you do, leave after the parade....because anything else, is nothing but a hassle. They don't call it the animal pit uptown, for nothing. The cops.....avoid them at all cost, they think they are in LA, instead of Butte, America.
  2. wowzer
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    wowzer - March 13, 2013 11:25 am
    I agree god bless our police force, however you have two mixes here on one hand you have an out of town punk that thinks he can do whatever he wants but on the other hand you have an out of town cop that thinks he doesn't have to follow police procedures either.

    I have seen some VERY aggressive police officers at these festivals...at some times they needed to be aggressive and at other times they didn't need to be aggressive at all.

    Don't know when it is a crime for a 20 something to get a pop and hotdog after the parade with an ID but I actually seen two of our own almost take out the poor kid trying to order up his food without an ID????
  3. tolvagn
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    tolvagn - March 13, 2013 10:33 am
    Lamp received a broken nose, a broken eye socket and a compression fracture to the spine.

    Despite where he is from or what his credentials might be, the only reason this much force is needed from an officer or officers during an arrest is where resisting has occured. Then the force is justified. This man was never charged with a crime. Not even a disorderly conduct. Why not?
    I truly believe that our police department works hard and takes great pride in their work, providing a safe environment for all patrons. However, every once in awhile the testosterone gets the better of them and their judgement becomes flawed.
    The injuries this man endured are extremely excessive simply because there is no record of a crime being commited to justify such force to cause a broken nose, a broken eye socket and a compression fracture to the spine.
  4. tjw626
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    tjw626 - March 13, 2013 7:20 am
    Its guys like this that give Butte a bad name, they come from out of town and cause trouble and cry when they get a lump on your head. Im from Butte and have never been in a fight up there, I dont look for it either. He is lucky it was an officer that ws trying to keep something from starting rather than another party goer. He won't win and I hope this sends a message to the masses that are coming this week. Keep up the good work Officers!
  5. juanajob
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    juanajob - March 13, 2013 6:50 am
    Ridiculous ! God bless the cops on st Patrick's day. We do need to have a open container law for these events

  6. srvdmytym
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    srvdmytym - March 13, 2013 3:28 am
    Really? It takes a year? This is just another example of how sad it is that our local officials have allowed what used to be a wonderful day for people in Butte, to be turned into a "drunk fest" for every dope in the world. For the sake of "helping the economy"....a fun family day has turned into a miniature circus of drunks/fights/indecent exposures....and so on. Here's an idea....how about all the bar owners lease the Civic Center..., they charge an entrance fee and they pay for the security(not the taxpayer), they sell their booze, food, etc and they pay to have police do breathalyzer tests on people leaving the Center. It's too bad that Butte has turned into the mecca of "drunk fests" for the sake of a few people making money on the stupidity of others.

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