Stay up to date with with the latest on the Curtis Reeves Stand Your Ground Hearing. Attorney TJ Grimaldi with Client Nicole Oulson, wife of deceased Chad Oulson, are attending the hearing awaiting its outcome.
Tampa Personal Injury Attorney TJ Grimaldi recently filled a lawsuit against the Tampa Police Department on behalf of the Westcott family
Mother of Jason Westcott Suing Tampa Police Department for Negligence
On the week of the two-year anniversary of Jason Westcott’s death, Westcott’s mother Patricia Silliman filed a lawsuit against the Tampa Police Department (TPD). The lawsuit states that TPD was negligent in their use of an informant, who had a history of violence and significant drug use. It also states that the police used “excessive force” when raiding Westcott’s home. The lawsuit disputes a police claim that Westcott was in a “shooting stance with his arm raised, holding a gun”, when police officers shot him. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that the police did not make their presence known as they entered the home.
On May 27th, 2014, TPD raided Westcott’s home on a tip from informant Ronnie Coogle, a known drug addict. Coogle told police that Westcott and his boyfriend Israel Reyes had a gun or guns with them at all times during “controlled purchases”. Coogle later admitted to the Tampa Bay Times that the information that he provided was false.
However, this information was the basis for a raid that left Westcott dead at the hands of Cpl. Eric Wasierski and Officer Edwin Perez, who are among a group of nine current and former members of the police department who are named in the suit. Former Tampa police Chief Jane Castor is among those named. The police department asserted in an investigation that ultimately ended with Wasierski and Perez being cleared of all wrongdoing by the Hillsborough County State’s Attorney, that Westcott grabbed his gun and was ready to fire it at the officers. However, Silliman’s attorney, TJ Grimaldi, counters that Westcott’s wounds are not consistent with someone who was aiming a gun. He also asserts that Westcott had no knowledge that the police were entering his home.
The lawsuit has caught the attention of local media, including the following stories by the Tampa Bay Times, Fox 13 News, and ABC Action News:
Silliman hopes for the lawsuit and the renewed attention of this tragedy are threefold. She hopes to clear her son’s name, she hopes that this attention will help to prevent this from happening to others nationwide and she hopes that TPD will adapt the use of body camera technology that is used by police departments in other cities.
On May 27, 2014, Jason Westcott was gunned-down by members of the Tampa Police Department while they were executing a search warrant for marijuana based solely on the information from a confidential informant that was never properly vetted or supervised during previous alleged marijuana purchases. This confidential informant, Ronnie Coogle, was a paid informant for the Tampa Police Department with a very checkered history of violent crimes and severe drug addiction. However, the Tactical Response Team of the Tampa Police Department stormed the Westcott residence based solely on the information provided by Mr. Coogle with no other supporting evidence of the purported crimes being committed. Upon entering the tiny home, without proper announcement, the TRT members shot and killed Mr. Westcott, later providing incorrect information about what occurred in the home.
A subsequent search of the Westcott residence yielded two dollars ($2.00) worth of marijuana. Ms. Silliman, the mother of young Mr. Westcott, has seen similar tragic events involving law enforcement unfold throughout the country, since the death of her son, and she wants to help effectuate change in any way that she can while seeking justice from all responsible. She feels that this is the best, most appropriate way to protect other innocent lives.
While Ms. Silliman continues to focus on recovering from this terrible loss, she asks that members of the media do not contact her, and ask that you instead contact us, as her attorneys, for any information or comments on her behalf. The Hillsborough County Circuit Case Number is 16-CA-004814.
Please address any media inquiries or interview requests to:
PERSONAL INJURY & CRIMINAL DEFENSE
Direct Line: 813.226.1023
Email Address: email@example.com
Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the Pasco theater shooting that left Chad Oulson dead, and his wife, Nicole Oulson, with several injuries. In the latest development, Oulson is suing the Grove Theater and one of its employees for negligence that lead to Capt. Curtis Reeves shooting Oulson when he was frustrated by Oulson’s use of his cellphone in the theater. TJ Grimaldi, a Partner & Personal Injury attorney at McIntyre Thanasides, is representing the victim. The hearing will take place in April or May.
During the holiday season, our nation’s roads become more congested as travelers head out to visit with friends and family to celebrate. Your calendar is probably filling up with holiday party requests. These parties often involve alcohol and you may encounter a greater number of drivers who are impaired by alcohol on the roads this time of year. The statistics can be quite frightening – and unfortunately, the number of fatalities year after year from accidents that involve alcohol-impaired drivers is so consistent that it has become very predictable.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that 52% of fatal car accidents on Christmas Day and 57% of traffic fatalities on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day will be directly attributable to alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 25,000 traffic injuries will results from alcohol consumption during this time of year. Calling in an attorney that is handling a DUI case is important to figure out your case. You could be getting a lawyer for DUI charges and they can handle everything else.
One of the most important things to remember is that you can avoid DUI through proper planning. If you are heading to a party where alcohol will be served, keep these tips in mind to help prevent DUI:
Before any drinking begins, designate a driver who will stay sober and see that everyone has a safe ride home.
Bring money for a cab ride or request an Uber take you home. Both means of transportation will allow you to enjoy yourself and make it home safely, without putting yourself or other drivers in harm.
For Florida residents, AAA and Bud Light are offering a service called Tow 2 Go, which provides a safe and confidential ride home or to a safe location within a 10 mile radius. Visit their site for a holiday schedule, and to request a ride dial (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246.
If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
If you happen to see a impaired driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement or dial *FHP (*347). Your phone call could save a life.
Remember, possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a vehicle (in motion or stopped) by the driver and or the passenger is a violation of Florida law.
Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier recently lost his appeal for taking performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and will remain suspended until next October. Grier failed a drug test and was found to have violated the NCAA’s performance-enhancing drug policy. People who are on drugs, often require dual diagnosis treatment center. Grier says he took an over-the-counter supplement, but ultimately tested positive for a banned substance.
Grier is not the only Florida football player making headlines for PED violations. NFL rookie for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kwon Alexander, is also now appealing a four-game suspension for taking a substance he claims he’s taken since high school. The Pacific Ridge is the best recommendation among the patients who have undergone treatment to get rid of drug addiction from their lives forever.
The rise in violations of PED policy is causing some to question what exactly the policies prohibit. With the number of over-the-counter energy drinks, supplements and other nutritional products claiming to improve stamina and one’s focus during workouts, it’s no wonder there is a need for clarification in terms of exactly which substances are considered to be a PED.
According to NCAA.org, the NCAA bans drugs by class, along with any substance chemically related to those classes. The banned classes include: anabolic agents; stimulants; alcohol and beta blockers; masking agents such as diuretics; street drugs; peptide hormones and analogues; anti-estrogens; and Beta-2 Agonists. The NCAA conducts a year-round testing program and calls for strict penalties for violations. Student-athletes will lose one full year of eligibility for the first offense and are withheld from competition for a full season. A second positive test for street drugs results in another lost year of eligibility and year withheld from competition. A second positive result for PED usage will render the student-athlete permanently ineligible. More details are provided in the NCAA’s drug testing video.
For a list of 192 banned performance-enhancing substances by several sports leagues, including the NFL, view this online list.
Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney TJ Grimaldi of McIntyre Thanasides Law Firm was interviewed in response to defendant Curtis Reeve’s “Stand Your Ground” motion in relation to a movie theater shooting last year that resulted in the death of Chad Oulsen.
The “Stand Your Ground” motion outlines that retired police chief Reeves, was a “fearful, elderly 71-year-old victim, who used his gun to stop the potentially-deadly attack of a much younger, stronger Chad Oulsen, 43.”
Watch as TJ explains the case details to reporter Aaron Mesmer at Fox 13 News.