Bloodied Black Friday Shopper files 500k lawsuit for false arrest and injuries

BUCKEYE, AZ - A Black Friday shopper slammed to the ground in the midst of a shopper rush is leveling a lawsuit against the Town of Buckeye and one of its police officers.

Video of Gerald Newman's bloody face after a Buckeye Police officer slammed him to the ground on shoplifting allegations went viral.

The incident happened a Buckeye Walmart store.

"The video makes clear that Officer Rorke swept his leg out from under him, threw him to the ground, striking his head on the floor" said Todd Nolan, Gerald Newman's attorney.

According to Nolan, Walmart and the officer accused Newman of trying to place a video game in his waistband and then resisting arrest.

But Nolan said that's not the case, Newman had bent down to help his grandson who was being shoved in the mad panic for a Black Friday video game deal.

"What happened was horrific, what happened to Mr. Newman is unthinkable." said Nolan, of the Nolan Law Firm in Mesa.

Nolan filed a lawsuit on behalf of Newman, in Maricopa County Superior court for $500,000 dollars for the emotional and physical injuries Newman received.

"This was a season of Joy for him, he and his family were at the store doing some early Christmas shopping.  He was at the store trying to buy a video game for his grandson. They have never recovered." said Nolan.

Nolan said Arizona's Department of Public Safety did an independent investigation, and recommended Officer Kevin Rorke be charged with assault and that the Maricopa County Attorney's office never went forward with the case.

Maricopa County Attorney spokesperson Jerry Cobb tells ABC15 prosecutors felt the case would not have ended in a conviction.

Nolan also pointed out that a year has gone by, and Newman was never charged with shoplifting

"Our focus is to clear his name and in fact he wasn't engaged in any criminal activity whatsoever."  said Noland

But charges against Newman could still come, Cobb said prosecutors are still reviewing the case.

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