Colorado Springs attorneys to defend city in lawsuit filed by bystander paralyzed in fatal shootout

Photo: Hannah Tran, The Gazette
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (The Gazette) - The Colorado Springs City Council gave city attorneys permission Monday to defend the city, its former police chief and two officers in a lawsuit filed by the bystander who was paralyzed in a fatal shootout in February 2018.

That shootout claimed the lives of El Paso County sheriff’s Deputy Micah Flick and suspected car thief Manuel Zetina. Two other law enforcement officers were injured, as was Thomas Villanueva, who filed the lawsuit this February.

Villanueva is seeking unspecified compensation, alleging that missteps by law enforcement led to his permanent paralysis.

Mark Simpson, an attorney for the city, told the council Monday that the officers acted appropriately, and the city should be defended. Simpson gave the group that brief update as he sought permission to defend the city defendants.

The council gave him a unanimous thumbs up.

Former Police Chief Pete Carey and Officers Kevin Miyakusu and Marcus Yanez are listed as city defendants.

Other defendants are Sheriff Bill Elder; Flick’s estate; Deputies Scott Stone, Jacob Abendschan, John Watts, Tremaine White, Stephanie Criss and Michael Boggs; and Chad Hunt and John Reindollar of the Colorado State Patrol.

Villanueva’s lawsuit claims officers “made critical and lethal mistakes leading up to and during the takedown” of Zetina, a known gang member who was believed to be armed. Officers did not announce themselves, which would have given Villanueva a chance to avoid the scene as they moved to arrest Zetina, the suit says.

Click here to read the full article by 11 News partner The Gazette.