Elderly man awarded $880K after officer broke his neck during takedown



ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal jury has found an Orlando police officer guilty of using excessive force when he broke an 84-year-old man's neck during an arrest in 2010.

Officer Travis Lamont broke Daniel Daley’s neck while performing what Lamont referred to as a controlled takedown.

Daley's attorney asked the jury for more than $1 million in damages. Instead, the jury awarded Daley $880,000 for pain and suffering, as well as for past and future medical bills.

The city's attorney had asked the jury to award $100,000 at the most if they did not vote in Lamont's favor.

Lamont's attorney asked the jury to consider how much longer Daley will live in assessing how much money they award him if they believe Daley's rights were violated.

Daley's attorney repeated to the jury what Lamont said on the stand: that he took down the then 84-year-old exactly as he meant to.

Lamont testified on Thursday that Daley, who was upset that a tow truck driver was going to tow his car unless he paid $50, tapped him on the arm several times, and he had to repeatedly tell Daley to stop touching him. He said Daley didn't obey the commands.

Lamont admitted to Daley's lawyer that he never stepped back from Daley, never warned him he would be arrested and he admitted he was getting irritated with the elderly man.

Lamont told the jury that Daley lunged at him, put one hand at his neck and clenched a fist with the other. Lamont said he didn't have time to use pepper spray or his baton, saying he did a "controlled" takedown of Daley, exactly as he had planned.

But Daley fell on his head and broke his neck in the process.

Lamont said he is strong enough to lift two people of Daley's size, but he insisted he had a fear of Daley causing him injury.

Moments after hearing the officer's testimony, Daley told WFTV he never threatened the officer in any way.

"Did you reach for his neck like he said?" WFTV reporter Kathi Belich asked.

"I tapped him on his left shoulder and with a gesture, said, 'Can you help me?' And that's the only conversation I had with that officer," said Daley.