Another federal suit alleges wrongful ketamine administration and arrest

Problem Solvers
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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — A man who said he was wrongfully injected with ketamine following a heated exchange with his neighbors and Lakewood police last year has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Lakewood, Lakewood Police officers, and West Metro Fire medics and EMTs, among others.

In the complaint, Jeremiah Axtell suggests he was wrongfully arrested and received a “wrongful injection of ketamine … causing injury,” in January 2020.

He alleges his First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated.

“Unfortunately we cannot comment on on-going litigation,” said John Romero, as spokesperson for the Lakewood Police Department.

West Metro Fire Rescue (WMFR) responded, “We have no comment on pending litigation,” when FOX31 Problem Solvers reached out to them.

“(Axtell) expressed his willingness to cooperate 40 times and walked willingly toward the police car when asked. However, instead of putting Plaintiff into the police car, first responders brought a gurney over and sat Plaintiff on it,” the lawsuit said. It alleges a paramedic injected Axtell with 450mg of the sedative, ketamine, rendering him unconscious.

“The injection was not done as part of a valid medical procedure or in line with protocol under the ketamine waiver system. It was done in retaliation for speech and at the behest of law enforcement,” the suit alleges.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers reported in November that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reviewed the incident after receiving a complaint and found “the Department has no grounds for disciplinary sanctions against any of the West Metro providers.”

The CDPHE findings did not address whether the health officials who reviewed the case felt the actions by WMFR were appropriate or warranted.

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