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The Plain Dealer
By Donna J. Miller
March 28, 2011 at 8:00 AM
Whatever happened to . . .?” is a weekly series updating some of the most newsworthy and interesting local stories covered in The Plain Dealer. Have a suggestion on a story we should update? Send it to John C. Kuehner.
What happened to a widow’s suit against Fairview Park after an officer shot and killed her golf club-wielding husband in 2005?
Pamela Hanson and attorney Terry Gilbert received $700,000 from the city’s insurance company, closing the case filed in October 2006 in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
Scott Hanson was shot three times Oct. 25, 2005, after his wife called police and said he was destroying things at their house on West 204th Street.
Hanson, 43, had driven a car through the garage door and smashed it into the side of the house. He was wielding two golf irons when an officer arrived.
Hanson walked down the driveway toward Patrolman Justin Brewer, who repeatedly told him to stop and drop the clubs. Hanson said to Brewer, “I’m coming for you,” and kept approaching.
Gilbert said Brewer was a young, inexperienced officer when he arrived alone and approached Hanson before talking to his wife. She would have told Brewer that Scott needed help, Gilbert said.
“Scott was a physical therapist, but he had some depression and may have had a bad reaction to medication. He just started breaking stuff in and outside the home,” Gilbert said.
The city’s attorney, Hilary Taylor, said the officer, with seven years of experience, was placed in a dangerous situation without knowledge of Hanson’s background. He saw severe destruction and violent behavior when he arrived and his life was in danger.
“Our officer had no more than 10 seconds once Hanson engaged him,” Taylor said. “Given the amount of time, the weapon and the distance between them, the officer’s training led him to use deadly force.”
Pamela Hanson declined to comment.
Fairview Park police didn’t carry Tasers when her husband was killed.
They do now.
— Donna Miller