FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — The parents of a 15-year-old Three Rivers Festival volunteer who says he was pushed to the ground by Sheriff David Gladieux has filed a tort claim notice against the sheriff.
The suit, filed by Brad and Erin Bullerman, seeks $300,000 in damages from Gladieux in connection to an incident at the Three Rivers Festival on July 16th. Gladieux, who was charged Thursday with misdemeanor battery resulting in injury, has denied guilt but offered an apology as part of a deal that would result in the dismissal of the charge next year.
The suit says the victim, a volunteer, was closing the Sponsor Hospitality Tent about 10:45 p.m. when he saw two men walking toward the closed restrooms.
The victim told one of the men, later identified as Gladieux, that the restroom was closed and needed to see his badge that allowed him in to certain sections of the festival.
The suit alleges Gladieux responded "I am the f***ing sheriff, move out of my way." The teen didn't believe he was the sheriff because, the suit alleges, he smelled of alcohol.
When he insisted on seeing his badge the suit alleges Gladieux briefly held up his badge and then pushed the teen "very hard to the ground."
The teen called over police who reached out to his mom, who was also working the festival. The suit says the teen was red-faced, holding back tears and holding his right arm on his lower back.
The suit says Erin Bullerman heard her son identify Gladieux as the man who pushed her son. The suit says she also heard Gladieux tell a Fort Wayne Police sergeant that the teen, "was just a f***ing kid, there is not a goddamn thing he can do about it."
The suit alleges that the man with the sheriff balled up his fist ready to hit the police sergeant when the sergeant grabbed his arm and told him, "You don't want to do that."
The suit says the victim suffered physical pain, mental sufferig, emotional distress, humiliation, embarassment, unlawful and excessive force.
Gladieux's attorney, Anthony Churchward, declined to comment about the allegations. "Due to the pending nature of the criminal case and the potential of civil litigation, I cannot."