Widow sues police over Wisconsin motorcycle shop standoff

THUMPERRRR's picture

NEENAH, Wis. (AP) — The widow of a man killed by police during a standoff at an eastern Wisconsin motorcycle shop is suing the officers for wrongful death.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, Theresa Mason-Funk claims the officers used unnecessary and excessive force when they shot Michael Funk at Eagle Nation Cycles in Neenah last December.

Funk was a hostage and had drawn his handgun as he tried to escape when he was shot by officers Craig Hoffer and Robert Ross. The officers had believed Funk was the hostage taker.

Funk was shot nine times, and Neenah police didn’t tend to him for more than 30 minutes, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit also says that when a sergeant asked Hoffer whether she should check on him, Hoffer said: “I could care less right now if he sits there and dies.”

Neenah City Attorney Jim Godlewski told Post-Crescent Media (http://post.cr/2arFYNN ) that the lawsuit will be referred to the city’s defense counsel. He had no comment on the lawsuit itself.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice determined the officers thought Funk was the armed hostage taker and was a threat, and they weren’t criminally responsible for his killing.

The man accused in the standoff, Brian Flatoff, faces trial on multiple counts.

Mason-Funk’s lawsuit, which does not specify a dollar amount, alleges that many of the shots fired by the officers hit her husband in the back. It also says Ross shot Funk twice after he was already wounded and no longer a threat.

Howard Schoenfeld, Mason-Funk’s attorney, said the lawsuit “seeks accountability for Michael’s wrongful death and, out of accountability, justice for his grieving widow.”

The lawsuit came after Neenah chose not to respond to a $3.5 million wrongful death claim filed in March by Mason-Funk.

Authorities say Funk, 60, and two other men were held hostage Dec. 5 at Eagle Nation Cycles by Flatoff in a dispute over a motorcycle. Neenah police tried to rescue the hostages, but retreated after Flatoff fired at them.

Minutes later Funk escaped while Flatoff shot at him from inside. Funk drew his handgun and turned to run when he was shot by Hoffer and Ross.

The DOJ has said that the officers were mistaken in retrospect, but their perceptions were not unreasonable.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Source of News article: 

Related Articles

Elk Hunt   Fly Fishing Guide
  Silver Stock
  Biker News

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are solely those of the writer, and may not reflect the beliefs of anyone at the Biker News Network/Outlaw Biker World. This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you believe that your copyrighted work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement and is accessible on this site or through this service, you may notify our copyright agent, as set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). For your complaint to be valid under the DMCA, it must meet certain criteria, and you must Click Here to contact acting agent.