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A California man shot with a stun gun by a park ranger after being detained for having his dog off-leash has taken his lawsuit against the United States Government to trial.
Gary Hesterberg brought suit against the government for battery and false imprisonment following a 2012 incident on a San Mateo County running trail managed by the National Park Service, reports Courthouse News Service.
How did Hesterberg's leash-law violation take such a "stunning" turn of events?
The 50-year-old Hesterberg was running with his two dogs, one of them off the leash, when he was approached by a woman who he says never identified herself as a park ranger.
The ranger, Sarah Cavallaro became suspicious of Hesterberg when he provided what turned out to be a false name. Hesterberg claims that Cavallaro's badge wasn't visible beneath her jacket. When Hesterberg attempted to leave after being instructed by Cavallaro not to, the ranger pulled her Taser.
According to Hesterberg's testimony, he asked Cavallaro, sarcastically, "so, you're going to Tase me now?" Cavallaro then did in fact deploy her stun gun.
"It was completely overwhelming," said Hesterberg, reports Courthouse News. "I never felt anything quite as intense as that Tasing. I remember having the thought, I hope this doesn't kill me."
Hesterberg originally brought suit for both battery and false imprisonment. But the false imprisonment portion of his lawsuit was thrown out by a federal judge earlier this year.
Generally, a claim for battery requires proof of a harmful or offensive intentional contact that causes actual injuries. In a claim of a battery claim against a law enforcement officer, however, a plaintiff generally must prove that the officer used an excessive or unreasonable amount of force.
Hesterberg is seeking $500,000 in damages, reports the Half Moon Bay Review.
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