Two senior citizens are suing the city of Macon, alleging that police officers blasted them with pepper spray and illegally arrested them as they protested their sons beating in front of them.
Henry Young Sr. and Christine Young filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Macon late last month, contending that their civil rights were violated as they protested the treatment of their son, Henry Young Jr., while he was arrested in September 2011.
The Macon City Attorneys Office did not respond to a request for comment.
Macon Police Department reports from the night of Nov. 25, 2011, tell much of the same story, but they put the blame squarely on members of the Young family.
Police Sgt. Jeremy Malone, who is also being sued, said he had found the son walking away from the area of a robbery, acting nervous and breathing hard. Malone reported that hed asked if could search the son, who agreed. Malone found a piece of brown paper with a hard object inside, which the son said was not crack cocaine.
The lawsuit and the police report agree that the son, by then in handcuffs, ran away and was caught. The suspected crack cocaine was put in an open police car trunk, but Young escaped a second time and began to chew on the paper.
The police report and the lawsuit both say the son refused to obey Malones commands to spit out the object, and police punched, kneed and pepper-sprayed the son to get him to stop eating the evidence.
The lawsuit says the parents witnessed Malones brutal assault and were horrified.
The suit said the father asked why he was getting such a savage beating but did not interfere when Malone moved toward the father, pushed him off balance and blasted him with pepper spray.
Malone and another officer said the father had been ordered to step back several times before the pepper spray was used, with Malone reporting that the father, then 70 years old and 130 pounds, rushed toward him.
The lawsuit says the mother, then 68, found her husband covered in pepper spray. She walked to the end of the driveway, offered to give the officers more room, and asked why they were hurting her son. Malone blasted her with pepper spray without a warning, the lawsuit says.
The police reports say the mother kept coming toward Malone.
Police said the son broke away from them again and tried to hide himself and the crack cocaine under a house. The lawsuit does not mention that.
All three Youngs were ultimately arrested. The father was checked out at a hospital, then admitted to a different hospital after blood tests showed signs of a heart attack.
The lawsuit asks for non-specified monetary compensation.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.