Longtime local sues town of Vail
VAIL, Colorado – Longtime local Michael Cacioppo has filed a lawsuit against the town of Vail and two of its police officers, claiming his civil rights were violated in an incident in November of last year.
The suit was filed in United States District Court in Denver. A jury trial has been requested. The complaint alleges that Vail police officers Darren Anderson and Luke Causey deprived Cacioppo of his civil rights Nov. 1 of last year during an incident at a West Vail roundabout.
According to the complaint, Cacioppo called police when he saw what he initially thought were two people replacing campaign signs in the roundabout. When he found out that wasn’t the case, he called again to ask police to disregard his first call.
By that time, though, Anderson was already on the scene.
The police report and the complaint differ on what happened next.
The police report claims Cacioppo was “confrontational” with the officer. The complaint alleges that Anderson began “screaming” at Cacioppo when he went into the street to take pictures of the campaign signs. The complaint claims Cacioppo complied with Anderson’s order to get out of the street, and that Cacioppo told the officer he was being “disrespectful of a citizen who had reported the potential occurrence of a crime.”
Cacioppo ended up being handcuffed at gunpoint after taking both a comb and a closed Swiss Army Knife out of his pocket.
The suit alleges that Anderson and Causey, who was the second officer on the scene, violated Cacioppo’s Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. The suit also alleges the town of Vail didn’t provide adequate training and oversight of the officers.
The town has not yet responded to the initial complaint.
Diana Johnson, of Vail, is also suing two different Vail Police officers for a 2006 incident in which she claims illegal seizure, use of excessive force and unlawful entry. The lawsuit contends that Johnson’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated. That case heads to trial Nov. 2. A mediation is scheduled for next Thursday, which could change whether a trial is needed, said Vail Town Attorney Matt Mire.