Lawsuit filed against Allen County sheriff over festival incident

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ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — The family of a 15-year-old victim of an alleged battery by Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux has filed a lawsuit against the sheriff.

The suit, filed Monday in Allen Superior Court, claims Gladieux “unlawfully seized and used excessive force” against the boy in an incident at the Three Rivers Festival the night of July 16.

According to court documents, the family alleges Gladieux told the boy during an encounter at the festival, “I am the ******* Sheriff, move out of the way,” when the boy asked to see the sheriff’s VIP badge.

The boy did not think this was the real Allen County sheriff because the person smelled of alcohol, according to the claim. When the sheriff showed his VIP badge, he only held it up for a few seconds, the claim says.

That’s when the boy claimed the sheriff “pushed [him] very hard to the ground.”

The claim also states the sheriff yelled at a Fort Wayne Police Department officer saying, “he was just a ******* kid, there is not a *** **** thing he can do about it.”

Gladieux was charged with misdemeanor battery related to the incident. He’s entered into a pretrial diversion program through the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office that will dismiss the charge if he completes certain requirements, including alcohol treatment and anger management training.

Gladieux also issued a public apology Thursday in which he said he was “deeply sorry” for handling the incident in an unprofessional manner. He never addressed the victim in the apology.

Gladieux maintains his innocence.

The suit names Gladiuex as a defendant in his official capacity as sheriff, and also as an individual. It requests a jury trial, and asks for compensatory damages, punitive damages, along with fees and costs, and “for all other just and proper relief.”

The lawsuit comes after a tort claim notice was filed in August that asked for $300,000 in damages.

WANE 15 has reached out to the Allen County Sheriff’s Department to speak with the sheriff but no one was available. Gladieux’s criminal attorney, Anthony Churchward, has said he is not representing the sheriff in this civil case.

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