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Cyclist sues UPD officer, claiming excessive force

(Pictured right, Attorney Robert Sykes. Center, Chad Lockwood. Credit: Paul Nelson)

MILLCREEK – Was it excessive force?  Who is telling the truth?  A Millcreek man is taking a Unified Police officer to federal court, claiming the officer intentionally ran him down with his police car.  However, both sides of this lawsuit are painting very different pictures of what happened.

Chad Lockwood, the plaintiff, claims he was riding his electric bike in Millcreek near 2300 East, going through a yellow light at an intersection.  He says he saw the officer, who appeared to have waved at him to go through.  Just seconds later, Lockwood says Officer Christopher Schroeder crossed into opposing traffic and slammed into his bike.

“He ran me down on the wrong side of the street, on the sidewalk, almost,” Lockwood says.

He and his attorney compared the crash to a “pit maneuver” which officers use to stop out of control drivers.  After that, Lockwood says Schroeder started hitting him and doing serious damage to his wrist, which has a metal plat in it from an accident involving a train.

(Credit: Paul Nelson)

“He wrenched me so hard.  I’ve never had that happen.  I got hit by a train in ’96, and this was, by far, worse,” he says.

Lockwood’s attorney, Robert Sykes, says this was potentially deadly force, which should only be used if there’s a danger to the officer or a danger to the public.

Sykes says, “Any police officer can tell you that.  It’s part of the training.”

Even though the Unified Police Department isn’t listed as a co-defendant in the suit, Sheriff Rosie Rivera says she stands by her officer.  Schroeder’s report says Lockwood ignored his attempts to stop him from riding away and that Lockwood started using profanity when he asked to stop.

“The officer does place his car in front of the bike.  There was no impact,” Rivera says, adding that report states Lockwood hit a curb and fell after trying to go around Schroeder’s car.

Rivera says they hadn’t heard about the lawsuit until reporters asked her to respond to it.

She says, “It’s extremely frustrating when this type of things happen that an attorney can make all these allegation and file a lawsuit, and they haven’t even called us to talk to us.”