Hobart police accused of abuse

February 26, 2008 3:51:25 PM PST
An Indiana family says videotape shows Hobart police using excessive force during an arrest. The video, caught by the family's surveillance camera in their front yard in August 2007, was made public on Tuesday. The 32-minute tape shows an argument between officers and Candace Olig, who was knocked down to the ground, according to the Olig family. Olig's two adult sons and husband were also wrestled to the ground and handcuffed when they came to her aid. Two smaller children witnessed the entire disturbance.

All four family members were charged with disorderly conduct, battery and resisting law enforcement.

The Olig family is filing a lawsuit alleging abuse.

"If there's a problem the police department or the police officers, what better way to cause that to be rectified and change than public pressure," said Ronald Layer, attorney.

According to Layer, James and Candace Olig called police to their home to report a speeding car in their neighborhood. They said the conversation between the Oligs and the three officers escalated.

"There were exchanges of what they were going to do, what they weren't going to do. The video shows after that," said Layer.

The video shows James walking back into the house, at which point the officers enter the Olig's yard. More words are exchanged and then the video shows an officer knocking Candace to the ground- twice. Then, an officer allegedly points a gun at her.

"It appears there was unnecessary and excessive force as you can see from the video," said Layer.

Hobart police said they have reviewed the incident and asked the Lake County Sheriff's Department to investigate. According to a police report, the officer involved in the arrest wrote, "Candy came at me and with a closed fist hit me on the top of the head three times," while officers tried to arrest David Olig.

"The family is concerned because they've lived in Hobart 18 years. They certainly grew up in the area, Lake County, and they feel reluctant to call police now because of this experience," said Layer.

The officers remain on duty while the investigation continues.