Fort Collins Man Sues Police Department Over Alleged Unlawful Arrest and Excessive Force

Sarah Schielke, a prominent civil rights attorney in Colorado, has recently filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Andru Kulas, a Fort Collins man who claims he was unlawfully arrested and subjected to excessive force by police officers in August 2021. The lawsuit names the City of Fort Collins and two individual officers, Kevin Park and Avery Hanzlicek, as defendants.

According to the lawsuit, Kulas was contacted by Fort Collins Police Services officers near the intersection of College and Mountain Avenues in Old Town Fort Collins after being accused of trespassing on the rooftop of Brothers Bar and Grill. Despite Kulas no longer being on the roof when police arrived, the situation escalated when he refused to take a ticket for trespassing.

Body camera footage released by Schielke shows Officer Park attempting to place the ticket in Kulas’ jacket pocket, which led to a physical altercation. Kulas was then tackled to the ground, and pepper spray was deployed close to his face. As a result of the incident, Kulas allegedly developed a permanent haze in his vision.

The lawsuit claims that Park “unlawfully” arrested Kulas and used “excessive force” during the arrest. However, an internal affairs investigation conducted by the Fort Collins Police Services found that Park did not violate any policies. The City of Fort Collins and the police department have stated that they will contest the lawsuit’s allegations.

Schielke, who has gained national recognition for her work in civil rights cases, including the high-profile Karen Garner v. City of Loveland case that settled for $3 million, continues to fight for individuals who have been victims of police misconduct. Her dedication to pursuing justice and holding law enforcement accountable has led to significant settlements and policy changes in Colorado.

As the Kulas case progresses, it serves as another example of the ongoing debate surrounding police use of force and the importance of protecting citizens’ civil rights. Schielke’s tireless efforts to shed light on these issues and seek justice for her clients have solidified her reputation as a fearless advocate for those whose voices might otherwise go unheard.