Man Claims Excessive Force in Perry DUI Stop

By Julie Montanaro
May 30, 2014

A roadside struggle with police is caught on tape in Perry.

The man was restrained by five officers during a DUI stop.

He now intends to sue for excessive force.

The video was taken by a dashboard camera in a Perry police cruiser in July 2013 as officers pursued a suspected drunk driver down Potts Still Road.

Officers ordered a suspected drunk driver out of the car, and onto the ground. Officers say the man started to become belligerent.

The video shows one officer tackled the man and took him to the ground.

Three Perry police officers and two Taylor County Sheriffs deputies tried to get the man in handcuffs. Arrest reports say Michael Shelton was tased by at least two officers and appears to be punched repeatedly by another.

None of the officers or deputies was disciplined as a result of the incident.

Perry Police won't comment on the incident, saying they're being sued for it.

The Taylor County Sheriffs Office says now that the video has hit YouTube and Facebook they're getting lots of calls and they are reviewing it again.

"We're gonna re-look at the situation and if we see any issues, then obviously we'll deal with it, but right now we don't see any issues as far as the actions of our officers," said TCSO Captain Ron Rice.

Michael Shelton was ultimately arrested for DUI, resisting arrest, battery on a law enforcement officer and more. Court records show he pleaded guilty two weeks ago and is serving six months in jail for it followed by five years probation.

Arrest papers say Shelton kicked a deputy in the chest during the struggle, knocking him backwards toward the car.

What the video doesn't show? One officer says Shelton grabbed him in the groin. And as for the officer who appears to be punching Shelton? Officers say in their reports that Shelton had grabbed his taser and would not let go.

"I would caution everybody to be reluctant to pass judgement until they know all the facts," CAPT Rice said.

The video hit YouTube and Facebook yesterday and has already been viewed more than four thousand times. Several of our viewers brought it to our attention.

Shelton - through a letter from his attorney Marie Mattox - has already notified the City of Perry that he intends to sue for false arrest, malicious prosecution, abuse of power and excessive force.

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