A man who claims he was severely burned by a Tracy police flash-bang grenade has sued the Tracy Police Department.
Derwin Joyce, in a lawsuit filed last week in San Joaquin County Superior Court, says officers threw the grenade into a dark living room, and it fell right next to him as he slept on the floor. Flash-bang grenades are designed to create a loud noise and bright flash without a large explosion or concussion, and are generally used to distract or disorient people.
The lawsuit says police were serving a search warrant on the home of Thomas Howard Givens at 733 W. 10th St. at about 4:30 a.m. Jan. 27, 2006. Joyce was staying there as an overnight guest. The lawsuit doesn’t mention if any arrests resulted from the search.
The lawsuit says police were negligent because they went into the house without permission or warning, then threw the flash-bang grenade into the darkened living room without checking the room first with flashlights. Joyce claims the explosion burned his left thigh and tore his clothing and that the burn has healed but left a scar.
Joyce filed a claim against the city July 11, 2006. The Tracy City Council rejected the claim Aug. 1. The lawsuit, filed Jan. 22, names as defendants police Chief David Krauss and the five officers involved in the search.