OGDEN — A confrontation over an invalid boat tag at Pineview Reservoir has resulted in the filing of a police brutality lawsuit against Weber County and four sheriff’s deputies.
Michael Todd Voorhees, 50, of Riverdale, alleged in a U.S. District Court suit filed Monday in Salt Lake City that deputies roughly arrested him because they were frustrated by his attitude.
The incident happened about 8 p.m. on June 28, 2018, at Port Ramp Marina as two deputies were checking boat registration tags.
The registration numbers on the sides of Voorhees’ boat were invalid and the deputies — identified in the suit as Kevin Logerquist and Sherida Malan — decided to cite him.
The lawsuit and the charging documents from Voorhees’ arrest give highly different accounts of what happened next.
In the suit, Voorhees said he was ordered to “do various things” while one of the deputies wrote the citation. It said the deputies then decided to handcuff and arrest him.
The suit alleges the deputies “intentionally manhandled Mr. Voorhees’s person, applying pressure to joints and forcing (his) limbs into a contorted position.”
The arrest, the suit asserted, “was wholly unrelated to any act of law enforcement and was solely a result of Deputy Logerquist’s frustration with plaintiff’s apparent disrespect for Deputy Logerquist.”
Two other deputies were named as defendants as well because they did not stop the arrest when they arrived, the suit said.
The suited requests at least $105,000 in damages for alleged assault, battery, false imprisonment, excessive force, false arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent employment practices by the county.
In court documents related to the 2018 incident, the county alleged Voorhees committed class B misdemeanor interfering with an arresting officer.
In his probable cause statement, Logerquist said Voorhees became agitated about the registration numbers. Voorhees said a “chick” at the Department of Motor Vehicles “fat fingered it” and got the registration number wrong.
As Malan was talking to sheriff’s dispatch for more information on the boat registration, Voorhees “became more upset and was yelling more,” Logerquist wrote.
The deputy said he told Voorhees to take his hands out of his pockets, which he did. But he then hooked his thumbs in his pockets and refused to move them, Logerquist said.
According to the report, the deputies then told Voorhees to put his hands behind his back, but he refused and they forced his hands behind his back so they could handcuff him.
“Michael relented when officers warned that he would be Tased,” the report said.
In an earlier incident report filed by Logerquist, the deputy said he became concerned about officer safety as Voorhees became agitated, looked in the cab of his vehicle and put his hands in his pockets.
On Nov. 27, 2018, Voorhees pleaded guilty to the resisting charge and the boat infraction, according to justice court records.
Judge Trent Nelson fined Voorhees $820 and sentenced him to one year of court probation.
Voorhees appealed the case to district court, where a plea bargain resulted in Voorhees pleading guilty to a reduced charge of class C misdemeanor attempting to interfere with an arresting officer.
Judge Mark DeCaria imposed the same fine and sentenced Voorhees to 30 days in jail, suspended, and no probationary period.
DeCaria said the misdemeanor would be reduced to an infraction if Voorhees paid the fine in full. The court record indicates that after the fine was paid, the conviction was set aside.
Efforts to contact Voorhees’ attorney, Jonathan Hanks, and Lt. Cortney Ryan, spokesman for the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, were unsuccessful.