A man in Michigan was attacked by court officers after attempting to pay a fine in pennies–and then he defecated himself–according to his attorney. Earlier this year, Anthony Sevy was issued a parking ticket by the Royal Oak Police Department. In February he entered Royal Oak’s 44th District Court and initially attempted to pay the $10 fine. When told that he would have to pay an additional $1.75 surcharge on top of the fine for using his credit card, Sevy left without paying.
Some time passed and Sevy tried again. Apparently none too pleased with the surcharge–and in the spirit of symbolic protest–Sevy recently re-entered that court building and attempted to pay his fine again. This time he tried to use pennies.
The method of payment didn’t seem to go over well with the court officer, who didn’t allow Sevy to use his pennies to pay and then exchanged words with Sevy before he left for the second time. Sevy’s attorney, Jonathan Marco said, in an interview with the local Fox affiliate:
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.
Surveillance footage from inside the courthouse appears to substantiate most of Sevy’s claims. The alleged self-defecation, however, is not visible in the grainy video footage.
Sevy was charged with disturbing the peace and assaulting or obstructing a police officer. The second charge was eventually dropped and Sevy pleaded no contest to the first.
According to Marco, his client plans on filing a civil rights lawsuit against the city and the court officers involved in the attack.
Previewing the lawsuit to local media, Marco reiterated, “I don’t think that in everyday course of business, we poop our pants or go around defecating ourselves.”
[image via screengrab; video courtesy Fox2 Detroit]