A Salt Lake County man has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming a Morgan County deputy used excessive force and wrongfully arrested him during an August 1986 altercation at Echo Lake State Park.
Richard G. Hock is asking $7,600 to pay the cost of his defense on criminal charges following his arrest, plus unspecified compensatory damages to cover his medical expenses.In addition, he seeks unspecified general and special damages, contending he was unlawfully deprived of his constitutional rights and humiliated in front of his family.
Named in the suit are Morgan County, the County Commission, Morgan Sheriff Bert Holbrook, former sheriff Max Robinson and Deputy Steven K. Seim, a full-time deputy who works part-time for the State Division of Wildlife Resources in recreation law enforcement.
Also named are division director William H. Geer, wildlife resources officer James Snyder and up to 10 unidentified John and Jane Does.
The incident took place Aug. 13, 1986, when Seim issued a citation to Hock for allowing persons under age 16 to operate a jet ski and for allowing persons to operate the recreational water vehicle without a flotation device on board.
Hock confronted Seim about the citation and a resulting altercation resulted in Hock's arrest on five more charges, including assault on a police officer, failure to comply with a police order, causing a riot, obstructing justice and parking of a vehicle in a "no parking" zone.
The Salt Lake County man contends Seim provoked the incident and then used excessive force to make the arrest.
Morgan County Attorney Dwight King said a justice of the peace subsequently dropped all of the charges except one but convicted Hock of failure to comply with a police officer. Hock appealed his case to 2nd District Court, and a jury found him innocent in March 1987.