The Journal Gazette
Saturday, September 14, 2019 1:00 am

Family files claim against sheriff

$300,000 sought; details of altercation revealed

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

The family of the Three Rivers Festival volunteer injured in a July altercation with Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux is asking for $300,000 for physical pain, mental suffering, emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and unlawful and excessive force. 

A tort claim dated Aug. 22 provides further details from the family's perspective into what happened at Headwaters Park on July 16, when Gladieux had a confrontation with a 15-year-old festival volunteer that left the volunteer injured.

The tort claim, which is a precursor to a civil lawsuit, was delivered on behalf of Brad and Erin Bullerman, the parents of the volunteer.

The volunteer is identified in the claim as C.B.

Gladieux was charged Thursday with one count of misdemeanor battery. He was placed in a pretrial diversion program and must pay a $334 fine and complete accredited anger management and alcohol treatment courses.

If Gladieux complies with all the terms of the program, the charge will be dismissed in one year. 

Gladieux has apologized for his actions but says he did not commit battery.

According to the claim, C.B. was closing the festival's Sponsor Hospitality Tent about 10:45 p.m. when he saw two men walk toward a set of portable restrooms that had been closed. When a man, later identified as Gladieux, exited the restroom, C.B. approached him and asked to see his festival badge.

“I'm the (expletive) sheriff, move out of my way,” Gladieux allegedly replied. 

According to the claim, C.B. did not believe Gladieux was truly the sheriff “because this person smelled of alcohol.” 

“The individual, who was the Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux, held up what could have been a festival badge/lanyard for a second or two and then dropped it, (C.B. couldn't read it) and then the sheriff pushed C.B. very hard to the ground,” the claim states. “C.B. got up and called for an officer to come and assist.” 

When C.B and a Fort Wayne police officer found C.B.'s mother, Erin Bullerman, C.B. allegedly pointed out Gladieux, who was allegedly yelling at another police officer.

“Mrs. Bullerman heard the sheriff tell the sergeant that he (C.B.) was just a (expletive) kid, there is not a (expletive) thing he can do about it,'” the claim states, adding that Erin Bullerman believed she saw the man accompanying Gladieux ball up his fist as if to hit one of the police officers. 

Police took C.B.'s statement a short time later, and the teen was driven to the hospital by his parents and tested for kidney damage, which came back negative. 

“On the way to the hospital, Mrs. Bullerman googled the sheriff and presented a picture of the sheriff to C.B., who positively identified him as the person who pushed him down,” the claim states.

Gladieux's attorney, Anthony Churchward, said Friday that Gladieux will not comment on the events of July 16.

Churchward added that because of the civil nature of the claim, he could not comment either. 

J. Spencer Feighner, the attorney who represents the sheriff's office, also declined to comment.

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