United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
H. CLELAND UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Joshua Simpson sues Defendants City of Dearborn and Officer
Vincent Belloli for an incident in which Simpson's arm
was run over by a police vehicle as Simpson was trying to
evade capture. Simpson alleged that Belloli used excessive
force in violation of Simpson's constitutional rights
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1, PageID.12.) Simpson
also included negligence claims under state law, Mich. Comp.
Laws § 691.1407(2)(c) and § 691.1405.
(Id., PageID.5, 9.)
now move for summary judgment. (ECF No. 20.) Simpson filed a
response and Defendants have replied. (ECF Nos. 25, 28.) For
the following reasons, Defendants' motion as to
Simpson's excessive force claim will be granted. The
court will decline to exercise further jurisdiction as to
Simpson's remaining state claims and they will be
dismissed without prejudice.
afternoon of October 26, 2017, Simpson and his girlfriend,
Zaria Martin, were involved in a violent disagreement.
Fighting between Simpson and Martin began as Martin drove
Simpson through a McDonald's restaurant parking lot. (ECF
No. 25-2, PageID.521.) Martin turned out of the
McDonald's onto Michigan Avenue, a major road in
Dearborn, Michigan. (ECF No. 20-4, PageID.176; ECF No. 20-5,
PageID.188.) Once on the road, Simpson grabbed the steering
wheel and turned it erratically, causing the car to swerve.
(ECF No. 20-4, PageID.177-78; ECF No. 25-2, PageID.522-23.)
Because the confrontation had escalated, Martin then turned
into a gas station. (ECF No. 20-2, PageID.168; ECF No. 20-2;
ECF No. 25-2, PageID.526.)
security camera at the gas station depicted the unfolding
events. (ECF No. 20-2). Martin pulled her vehicle into a
parking spot. At the same time, another vehicle, driven by
Martin's friend, pulled next to it. (Id.,
00:00-00:11; ECF No. 25-2, PageID.528.) Simpson exited the
passenger seat, went around Martin's vehicle, and
approached the driver's side window. (ECF No. 20-2,
00:22-00:28.) He then punched Martin several times through an
open window. (Id., 00:28-00:30.) When Martin
frantically attempted to escape, diving into her friend's
car, Simpson lunged into the car after her. (Id.,
00:35-00:46.) Simpson then continued to hit Martin and to
pull her hair. (ECF No. 25-2, PageID.529-30.) Simpson
eventually got out of the friend's vehicle and went back
to Martin's vehicle. Simpson took out items from the
vehicle and began throwing them onto the ground. (ECF No.
all this turmoil, spectators began to approach.
(Id., 01:45-02:00; ECF No. 20-2, PageID.160.)
Simpson walked toward one of the spectators and attempted to
initiate a fight. (ECF No. 20-2, 01:50-01:57; ECF No. 25-2,
PageID.536-37, 539.) In the process, the police were called,
reporting a man punching a woman. (ECF No. 20-2, PageID.160,
163, 167.) However, Simpson walked away before the police
arrived on the scene.
soon identified Simpson walking on the sidewalk along
Michigan Avenue, moving away from where the initial events
occurred. (ECF No. 20-2, PageID.164; ECF No. 25-2,
PageID.541.) The officer who identified Simpson activated his
vehicle's emergency lights and ordered Simpson to stop,
using the vehicle's loud speakers. (ECF No. 20-2,
PageID.164.) In response, Simpson began to run and flee the
police. (Id.; ECF No. 25-2, PageID.541.) He cut
across Michigan Avenue, disrupting traffic and risking
accidents, and ran to a gas station. (ECF No. 20-2,
PageID.164; ECF No. 20-5, PageID.188; ECF No. 25-2,
PageID.545.) At the gas station, Simpson ran between cars and
pumps. (ECF No. 20-2, PageID.163; ECF No. 20-5, PageID.189;
ECF No. 25-2, PageID.545.) Now being chased by several police
officers and vehicles with their lights activated, Simpson
shifted his direction several times, running onto Michigan
Avenue again and then back into a parking lot. (ECF No. 20-2,
PageID.164-65, 167; ECF No. 25-2, PageID.545-46.)
Simpson ran into the parking lot, Defendant Officer Belloli
was maneuvering to cut Simpson off and block his means of
escape. (ECF No. 20-2, PageID.167; ECF No. 20-5, PageID.182.)
Belloli had been following Simpson in a police cruiser and
decided to drive ahead of him. (ECF No. 20-2, PageID.167; ECF
No. 20-5, PageID.182.) Another police officer, Officer Fox,
had exited his vehicle and was chasing Simpson on foot. (ECF
No. 20-2, PageID.163; ECF No. 25-2, PageID.546.) Bodycam
footage shows Fox yelling at Simpson and ordering him to stop
running and get on the ground. (ECF No. 20-6, XV Fox,
bodycam then displays the event that gave rise to this
lawsuit. The video shows Belloli driving his police vehicle
past Simpson, and at the same time Simpson falling to the
ground, a portion of Simpson's body falling into the path
of Belloli's right front wheel, and the wheel running
over Simpson's left arm and part of his left leg.
(Id., 14:21:38-14:21:40.) When Simpson fell, he was
running in his socks and fell backwards. (Id.; ECF
No. 25-2, PageID.555-56.) According to observations of Fox,
Simpson slipped when he attempted to change direction and
lost traction on the parking lot pavement. (ECF No. 20-2,
PageID.163.) As a result, Simpson suffered serious injury to
his arm, resulting in surgery. (ECF No. 25-2, PageID.596.)
was charged with several crimes for his actions that day.
(ECF No. 20-4, PageID.175.) Following his plea admitting
guilt, Simpson filed a no-fault insurance application to the
City of Dearborn. (ECF No. 20-10.) In it, Simpson asserted
that he was “run over by a police vehicle after [he]
slipped and fell while running from the police.”
prevail on a motion for summary judgment, a movant must show
“there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). First, the moving party bears
the initial burden of presenting evidence that
“demonstrate[s] the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323 (1986). There is no requirement that the moving
party “support its motion with [evidence] negating the
opponent's claim.” Id. (emphasis removed);
see also Emp'rs Ins. of Wausau v. Petrol.
Specialties, Inc., 69 F.3d 98, 102 (6th Cir. 1995).
“the nonmoving party must come forward with
‘specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial.'” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (emphasis removed)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). This requires more than a
“mere existence of a scintilla of evidence” or
“‘[t]he mere possibility' of a factual
dispute.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 252 (1986); Mitchell v. Toledo Hosp., 964
F.2d 577, 582 (6th Cir. 1992) (quoting Gregg v.
Allen-Bradley Co., 801 F.2d 859, 863 (6th Cir. 1986)).
For a court to deny summary judgment, “the evidence
[must be] such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict
for the nonmoving party.” Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248. All reasonable inferences from the ...