A Black man in Kansas has filed a federal lawsuit against a sheriff’s deputy, accusing him of using “excessive force” when he intentionally ran over the 35-year-old with his patrol car after an August traffic stop. In the lawsuit filed Thursday in Kansas, Lionel Womack alleges he sustained serious injuries after Kiowa County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Rodriguez drove over him on Aug. 15 in an incident that was caught on dashcam video. “These rogue law enforcement officers give a bad name to the good officers, and we have to stop them. I never imagined that I would someday be the victim of excessive force by a fellow law enforcement officer. He could have easily killed me,” Womack said in a statement to the AP.
Womack, a former police detective from Kansas City, states he was on his way home from a business trip when he was stopped on a dirt road for an alleged traffic violation. At one point, Womack got out of his car and started “running on foot into a nearby open farm field” because he was scared of being “harmed by the officers pursuing him,” the lawsuit states. Dashcam footage from a Pratt County sheriff’s deputy’s vehicle shows Rodriguez using his patrol truck to catch up to Womack, who was unarmed. The lawsuit states Rodriguez drove up to Womack’s right side before he “intentionally swerved his patrol truck so that the truck hit Mr. Womack, knocked him to the ground, and ran him over.” The footage obtained by the Associated Press shows Womack rolling out from under the vehicle as someone on the video behinds to shout: “lie down, lie down.” The lawsuit states Womack “sustained serious injury to his back, pelvis, thigh, right knee, right ankle, and right foot” as a result of the incident.