Polk County man suing Lakeland Police for millions

Posted at 11:19 PM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-02 06:34:03-05

A Polk County man who was hit and dragged by a car after passing out drunk on US 98 is blaming Lakeland Police. He's now suing the department in federal court.

"That's what they say on the side of the cars, we're here to serve and protect, well he didn't protect this young man," said Attorney Barry Cohen.

Lawyer Barry Cohen admits last August, his client, 29-year-old David Kidd was completely drunk. His blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit.

"He got drunk at the bar, he was walking home, fell on the side of the road, the police were called by a concerned citizen," said Cohen.

When Lakeland police and Polk EMT's arrived along US highway 98 where witnesses say Kidd was wondering in and out of the road, Kidd was uncooperative and belligerent.

The lawsuit says EMT's were preparing to transport Kidd to the hospital when the officers stepped in.

"The officer then decided he would take him to the hospital, promised the EMT people he would take him to the hospital," said Cohen.

But Cohen says the officer broke that promise.

"The officer left him there on the side of the road," said Cohen. " David tried to walk home but he stumbled out into the highway. While laying there unconscious or drunk on the highway, he got run over," said Cohen.

He says Kidd's injuries were catastrophic. Sustaining a crushed pelvis and numerous broken bones.  

"He'll never walk again, his life is over," said Cohen.

In the court documents, an EMT says the officer who was supposed to take Kidd to the hospital told him taking Kidd to the hospital would take too much time and he needed that time to catch up on paperwork.

"Pitiful and shameful that, that kind of conduct is what put this young man in the position he's in the rest of his life," said Cohen.

Lakeland PD could not comment on the suit. The city attorney's office was also unavailable for comment.

Cohen says they're asking for a multi million dollar payout with the hope the department will change its policies so this never happens again.

"He should have either let the EMT people take him to the hospital or taken him to the hospital himself," said Cohen.