Allen County sheriff denies lawsuit allegations, says TRF incident ‘reasonable’

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Allen County Sheriff David Gladiuex has responded to a lawsuit filed against him in U.S. District Court for pushing a 15-year-old boy at the Three Rivers Festival last summer.

It was July 2019 when Gladieux had an altercation with a teenage boy at the Three Rivers Festival. Gladieux was in a private area when the boy asked to see his VIP badge. The sheriff told the boy “I am the ******* sheriff, move out of the way,” and shoved him.

Afterward, Gladieux issued a public apology and was charged with misdemeanor battery. He completed a pretrial diversion program.

The parents of the 15-year-old then filed a tort claim notice asking for $300,000 in damages for medical costs, emotional distress, and other damages, according to court documents.

The lawsuit had been pending in Allen Superior Court, but Gladieux’s attorneys filed a notice of removal to U.S. District Court last month. The lawsuit claims that the sheriff violated the teen’s 4th rights under the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from unlawful searches and seizures.

In federal court documents filed Wednesday, Gladieux denied a majority of the allegations against him.

The response to the lawsuit argues Gladieux was acting as a person under color of law in both his official and individual capacities when he encountered the boy.

The document argues that “any and all force or touching of the individual by Sheriff Gladieux, was reasonable, justified and de minimis” and that Gladieux has “common law privilege to use reasonable force under the circumstances.”

The response also said the sheriff is without the knowledge to either admit or deny allegations that he unlawfully seized and used excessive force on the 15-year-old, violating his rights under the Fourth Amendment.

To read Gladieux’s full response to the lawsuit, click below.

The next pretrial conference is to be held Wednesday, July 8 at 10 a.m.

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