Mother of man killed by Dayton officer sues city, alleges excessive force

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl has been disciplined in the theft of his gun. STAFF
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Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl has been disciplined in the theft of his gun. STAFF

The mother of a man shot and killed by a Dayton police officer in August has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the officer, the police chief and other city officials.

Michael Tuck Sr., 29, was shot and killed on Aug. 22, 2019, after he fled a traffic stop. Officer Cody Hartings said Tuck tried to take his Taser when the deadly encounter occurred.

The lawsuit filed by attorney Michael Wright says the incident began when Hartings and his partner pulled Tuck over for allegedly driving erratically. The lawsuit says Tuck got out of the vehicle and ran away.

Dayton police chief: ‘We regret that this encounter resulted in the loss of life’

“Defendant Hartings pursued Mr. Tuck, chasing him to a vacant lot approximately three blocks away on Brooklyn Avenue, when Defendant Hartings shot Mr. Tuck in the arm and torso,” the lawsuit says

Tuck died from the injuries.

“Mr. Tuck’s survivors, next of kin and/or heirs have suffered permanent damages, including but not limited to, grief, depression, and severe emotional distress,” the lawsuit says. “They have incurred funeral bills and other expenses and will incur additional expenses in the future.”

Dayton police and city officials didn’t return a message seeking comment Thursday. However, the police department did hold a press conference shortly after the fatal shooting.

Officers said Tuck was pulled over for driving erratically and took off running once stopped by police.

Hartings chased after the suspect, police said, while his partner stayed with the Impala until Hartings made distress calls over police radio.

A minute later, Hartings asked for additional crews over the radio, and a Taser can be heard in the background being deployed, according to police and a timeline prepared by the police department.

Hartings asks for help multiple times in the next couple of minutes before advising of gunshots at 8:47 p.m., police said.

“Shots fired, shots fired,” he says over the police radio.

The lawsuit accuses the city, Biehl and the Dayton Police Department of not conducting a meaningful investigation into the incident. The lawsuit says they have not imposed any discipline on Hartings.