Epileptic man arrested for DWI sues Dallas PD

A man who had an epileptic seizure and wound up being handcuffed and jailed for drunk driving is suing the Dallas Police Department.

Two years ago, 33-year-old Michael Ryan was driving to his parents' house with his daughter when he suffered a seizure – something he had never experienced before.

Ryan hit four cars on Goliad Avenue in lower Greenville, drove several more blocks to Palo Pinto Avenue, then got out of his vehicle, still suffering from the effects of the seizure.

A witness called 911 and multiple Dallas police officers arrived.

Police called Ryan’s wife, who is a medical doctor, to come get the couple’s daughter. They then arrested Ryan on a DWI charge, despite the fact that they administered a breathalyzer test and Ryan blew a 0.00.

Police knew Ryan had been previously arrested twice on DWI charges.

Ryan’s wife told officers that her husband needed medical attention, but they waved off the ambulance when it arrived.

Ryan was handcuffed and taken to jail where he remained for 18 hours. According to the lawsuit, Ryan asked to see a doctor at least 10 times, but he was denied medical attention.

After Ryan was released, he sought treatment and a doctor diagnosed him with epilepsy, which he is now on medication for. A grand jury subsequently cleared him of criminal charges.

Ryan’s attorney hopes the lawsuit will lead to better police training.

“We hope it will awaken the public, police, and the jail, to look at their policies and procedures so this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” said Rogge Dunn, Ryan’s attorney.

The lawsuit could cost Dallas PD as much as $1 million.


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