Punta Gorda settles excessive force lawsuit

Posted at 6:17 PM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 06:42:25-04

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- The City of Punta Gorda has settled an excessive force lawsuit filed by a man who was mauled by a Punta Gorda Police K-9 during a traffic stop last year.

Dashcam footage from last October showed Punta Gorda Officer Lee Coel allowing his police K-9 to bite Richard Schumacher repeatedly.

Schumacher was pulled over for riding a bike without a headlight. He claims Officer Coel went too far, and will now receive $70,000 in damages for his trauma and injuries.

Schumacher's attorney Scott Weinberg said the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing. 

Officer Coel is currently on paid administrative leave for another incident this past August, in which Coel accidentally shot and killed 73-year-old Mark Knowlton during a lethal force demonstration at a citizen's police academy.  That case is being reviewed by the State Attorney.