Man says deputy used excessive force during arrest

Man says deputy used excessive force during arrest (Image 1)

A Stewart County man says he's a victim of excessive force after officers pulled him over for speeding and repeatedly Tased him.

The incident involving John Elliott occurred on Saturday night on Highway 79 East just outside of Dover, about 80 miles west of Nashville.

According to arrest affidavits, a deputy clocked Elliott traveling 71 miles-per-hour in a 55 mile-zone, before accelerating to 87 miles-per-hour.

The officer reported he tried to initiate a traffic stop, but Elliott continued driving before turning into his driveway.

The affidavit says the officer advised Elliott several times to get back into the vehicle after he exited the truck.

According to the affidavit, Elliott got “very hostile” and told the officer he was on private property and he did not have to do anything he was told.

At that point, he was told he was under arrest, however, Elliott reportedly asked numerous times, what for.?

The deputy said he told Elliott he would “advise” him of that at a later time.

The report states that deputy warned Elliott several times before deploying the Taser after he started to resist and reached into his vehicle.

On Thursday, Nashville's News 2 Investigates spoke with Elliott.

“Every time I watch the tape, it hurts me,” he said from his father's porch.

Elliott said he still has several marks on his body including his shoulder, his torso and his left upper inner thigh from being Tased.

Elliott said he had turned on his blinker to pull into his driveway when the deputy turned on the blue lights.

“I was at my house, maybe 100 feet from the highway to my house, so I pulled into my house and got out of my truck and the cop asked me to step out,” he recalled.

Elliott said he began to question the deputy, asking him why he was on his property and why he was being pulled over.

“He didn't give me an answer,” Elliott said, adding, “[The] officer took my driver's license and stood by my door. My wife was asking why he was there. He told her to shut her mouth. I'm leaving cuss words out.”

He continued, “I said, ‘Don't talk to my wife that way while you are on my property until you tell me why you are here.'”

Elliott said he was sitting in his truck until he was told to stand up. When he stood Elliott said that is when he was Tased.

“I don't agree with what happened. If he just told me he was there for a speeding ticket all this could be avoided. My feelings hurt, every time I watch the tape it hurts me,” he said.

Elliott continued, “[It was] unprofessional. They should not have done that.  I asked numerous times why they were there, and no answer, and they put me in the cop car and kneeing me, kicking me in the head and Tasing me. I told them I was in the car, not resisting. The cop said, ‘Quit kicking him' and I was not doing that either. I was getting shocked.  Of course my leg would flop. I don't understand why this is going on the way it has.”

Elliott called the incident “excessive,” adding his wife can be heard on video yelling angrily at the officer and telling him to leave her property.

He also claims he did not become hostile as the report states.

“I did not [become hostile]. You could hear me, I asked, ‘Sir, why are you here?' The only time I raised my voice is when he asked my wife to shut her f*%$@ng mouth,” Elliott said

He added, “All I wanted was an answer why I was getting arrested.  When I started to sit down, he kicked me over into the seat, and now I am laying on my back, my head hanging out the other side of the door and an officer kicking me in the head and him Tasing me in the head. Me saying, ‘Quit I am in the cop car' [is] not resisting. I am in. Stop shooting me.'”

The father of two is charged with felony evading, assault on a law enforcement officer and speeding.
Since the incident is an active case, Stewart County Sheriff Deryk Wyatt told Nashville's News 2 Investigates he would not comment except to say he interviewed the officer, reviewed the video and read the reports.

He added that he stands behind his officer's actions.

The incident remains under investigation.

Elliott is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

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