EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
AUSTIN — A Llano man filed a federal lawsuit Sept. 7 against two former Llano police officers alleging they violated his civil rights and used excessive force during a November 2016 arrest.
Cody Perry stated in the lawsuit that Matthew Grant Harden, who was in his personal vehicle, followed him home Nov. 6, 2016, from a Sonic restaurant in Llano. At the time, Harden was a member of the Llano Police Department.
Harden pulled in behind Perry, and the two got out their cars. Perry alleges in the lawsuit that Harden “came face-to-face with” him and there was a verbal exchange. According to the lawsuit, Harden, “without warning,” punched Perry in the face.
Perry went to his knees, and when he stood up, the officer allegedly continued the assault, punching the man with a closed fist several times to the head and body. The lawsuit stated Perry was “rendered nearly unconscious” and “fell nearly limp to the ground.”
At this time, Harden got on top of Perry and placed him in handcuffs. Perry alleges in the lawsuit that while he was still face down on the ground, then-Llano police officer Melissa Sloan, used a Taser on him.
Sloan charged Perry with assault on a peace officer, which was later dismissed by the 33rd/424th District Attorney’s Office.
The lawsuit also names the city of Llano.
This is another in a series of legal woes facing the two former officers. In January of this year, a Llano County grand jury indicted Harden on charges of oppression and tampering with government documents connected to a June 2017 arrest. Former Llano Police Chief Kevin Ratliff was also indicted for his actions during the arrest. In July of this year, a jury convicted him on misdemeanor charges stemming from the incident.
Harden also faces charges in two other arrests in which he was involved.
Sloan was released from the Llano Police Department in June 2017 after officials believe she distributed “confidential information to non-law enforcement personnel.” She was later charged with a Class B misdemeanor. She was also indicted in January of this year for allegedly tampering with evidence in a case unrelated to any of these incidents.
In the lawsuit, Perry is asking for damages related to medical expenses, pain and suffering, and mental anguish resulting from the officers allegedly using excessive force.