Anthony Sevy, 33, claims he went to the 44th District Court in Royal Oak, Michigan, to pay a $10 parking ticket. After being told he would have to dish out an additional $1.75 processing fee, he became annoyed and passive-aggressively decided to pay the fine in pennies. He was told this would be acceptable as long as they were rolled when handed over. Sevy, unaware of the trauma that awaited him, then left to prepare his change.
“He wasn’t happy about it so, in symbolic protest, he brought back penny rolls to pay for his ticket,” his lawyer, Jonathan Marko, explained.
When Sevy, a real estate broker, returned later that day, he attempted to hand over 1,000 rolled pennies, but the clerk refused to accept them. A verbal exchange ensued, and he was then ordered by Court Officers Harold Marshall and Philp Barach to take his change elsewhere.
Sevy complied, but video of the incident shows Barach and Marshall following him out of the courthouse. One of the officers then grabs Sevy and chokes him until he is rendered unconscious and defecates himself.
Marko said, “As he was leaving the courthouse with his back to the officer, the court officer began to choke him out, grabbing him, brought him to the ground. Mr. Sevy passed out and defecated himself…I don’t think that in every day course of business, we poop our pants or go around defecating ourselves.”
The man was ultimately arrested and detained in a holding cell for more than 24 hours. He was charged with assaulting a police officer and disturbing the peace, but the assault charge was eventually dropped in an agreement that required Sevy to plead no contest to disturbing the peace.
Once his plea was in, Sevy decided he couldn’t just let the experience go, move on, and allow for the court to proceed with business as usual. Instead, he filed a lawsuit alleging he suffered head trauma, mental anguish, embarrassment, and emotional trauma, among many other difficulties, for the way in which he was treated. What’s more, he incurred hefty medical bills related to his head injury. Sevy is suing for “an amount that is just and fair and award costs, interest and attorney fees as well as punitive, exemplary or hedonic damages,” Marko said, adding, “Just because there is a verbal exchange doesn’t give an officer a right to brutalize you. The whole basis of freedom of speech is people have a right to say things that you might not like. The emotional scars will never heal from this. We are going to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
While Sevy’s passive-aggressive move was a bit unusual, a Utah man takes the cake for the most creatively spiteful way to pay a ticket issued by an officer. Unhappy that police handed him a $137 ticket, a man folded 137 dollar bills into origami pigs, put them into two Dunkin’ Donuts boxes, and went to pay his fine. He claims he rolled the bills into pigs in reference to a “piggy bank,” but there are skeptics who say his choice of animal likely had to do with something else. Needless to say, the clerk wasn’t happy and made him unfold every last one.