Lawsuit Claims Kalispell Police Used Excessive Force

By Beacon Staff

A Kalispell man alleges city police used excessive force during his 2006 arrest, causing him a permanently disabling brain injury.

Jesse Perry is suing the Kalispell Police Department in U.S. District Court in Missoula.

Perry, 28, was arrested outside the Sawbuck Saloon and Casino on Oct. 26, 2006.

Police Chief Roger Nasset said officers were dealing with a fight outside the bar when Perry, who was not involved in the altercation, approached the scene.

Perry was taken into custody after officers told him repeatedly to back away and he failed to do so. He was uncooperative and taken to the ground during the arrest, Nasset said.

Assistant City Attorney Richard M. Hickel said that after Perry’s arrest the city found no indication there were sufficient grounds for a lawsuit.

“There wasn’t anything that led us to believe there was a problem at the time this incident took place,’ he said. “This seemed a very run-of-the-mill situation.”

The severity of Perry’s injuries and the extent, if any, to which they were caused by the officers will be examined as the case progresses, Hickel said.

“There’s going to have to be discovery into that, to see what it entails,’ he said.

Perry’s lawsuit names the Kalispell Police Department, the city of Kalispell, the two arresting officers and four unnamed individuals.

Perry’s attorney, Scott Hilderman, declined to comment on the case.