June 28 2010, 9:55 AM
It's not exactly in league with Tim Masters' multimillion-dollar settlement, but recession-stricken, budget-strapped Denver will pay a significant sum---$175,000---for the zealousness of Denver police in a federal wrongful arrest suit involving Amy Shroff. At the time of the arrest, Shroff told Officer Frank Spellman he was making a mistake and, moreover, was separating her from her four-month-old baby, who needed her breast milk because of a medical condition that prevented the infant from drinking formula (via The Denver Post). The suit outlines the alleged events of February 23, 2006, when Shroff took a photo of the truck belonging to the baby's father, Greg Kruse, outside the Campus Lounge bar around 11 a.m. She planned to use the photo to claim Kruse had a drinking problem and went to the District 3 police station, where she was confronted by Kruse. He used his truck to block her exit, and when Shroff went inside to show police a restraining order against Kruse, Spellman told her the order required her to stay away from the child's father. Spellman also allegedly said he was tired of Shroff making so many appearances at the station and then arrested her. Spellman could not be reached for comment, but in sworn testimony he said Kruse contended Shroff was stalking him. Shroff denies the accusation, and her attorney, David Lane, adds, "This case is an absolute outrage, and the citizens of Denver should storm City Hall in a torch-light parade demanding accountability." Meanwhile, another officer, Michael Morelock, has been suspended with pay during an internal investigation into allegations in a federal lawsuit that he beat Tyler Mustard (who was suspected in 2008 of spray painting on a van in the Capitol Hill neighborhood) with a flashlight or baton, causing head injuries and a collapsed lung (via the Post). Morelock, 30, has been with the Denver Police Department since 2006 and received 21 complaints of excessive force in his first two years, according to the federal suit. He also pleaded guilty last year to driving under the influence of alcohol.