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A Michigan man who attempted to pay an $11.75 fine in pennies was jumped from behind and thrown to the ground by court officers as he was leaving the building, causing the man to defecate himself, according to his attorney. The incident was recorded by surveillance cameras.
The bizarre situation started back in February, when Anthony Sevy entered the 44th District Court to pay a $10 parking ticket issued to him by the Royal Oak Police Department. Sevy attempted to pay with a credit card, but was told that he would have to pay an additional $1.75 surcharge for using a credit card.
Sevy was displeased with the extra charge and left without paying the fine. Some time later, he thought he’d get the last laugh by returning to the court building with a sack full of rolls of pennies, which he planned to use to pay the fine.
But his preferred method of payment didn’t go over well with the court cashier, who refused to accept the pennies. Court officers approached Sevy at the cashier window, and the video shows Sevy and an officer having an apparently heated conversation.
Sevy then turned and started walking through the court building’s lobby to leave. As he walks through the first set of automatic-opening doors, a security officer can be seen on the video grabbing him from behind. The video shows officers grabbing and choking Sevy, though it’s not possible to verify whether he defecated himself.
In an interview with Fox 2, Sevy’s lawyer Jonathan Marco said:
As he was leaving the court house with his back to the officer, the court officer began to choke him out, grabbing him, brought him to the ground. Mr. Sevy passed out and defecated himself … I don’t think anyone paying in penny rolls, whether it’s a preferred thing to do for a court clerk, warrants this type of assaultive behavior and violation of constitutional rights.
Marco said Sevy plans on filing a civil rights lawsuit against the city and the court officers involved in the altercation. Marco said while explaining the planned lawsuit for the news station, “I don’t think that in everyday course of business, we poop our pants or go around defecating ourselves.”
But Sevy now has more facing him than a $10 fine and $1.75 surcharge. He was charged with disturbing the peace and assaulting or obstructing a police officer. The latter charge was dismissed, and Sevy pleaded no contest to the former.