Man sues Royal Oak Police over St. Patrick's Day arrest

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The man who was at the center of a controversial video shot on St. Patrick's Day is suing the Royal Oak Police Department for its use of force during his arrest.

Travis Hermiz filed a lawsuit on Monday against Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue and four police officers in the department, saying the officers pulled him to the ground, tased him multiple times, put him in a headlock, and pinned to the ground.

Hermiz claims he offered no resistance to the arrest and said officers used excessive force and violated his Constitutional rights.

"He was fighting and police officers took appropriate action," said O'Donohue. "Several of (Hermiz's) associates kind of surrounded the officers and were interfering with the arrest."

"We filed a complaint, we're going to see what the city of Royal Oak has to say," said Hermiz's attorney Robert Giroux.

Hermiz was arrested on St. Patrick's Day after an altercation at Blackfinn Pub in downtown Royal Oak. The Farmington Hills man was at the bar and claims in his lawsuit that he got into an altercation with a man named 'Stuart' inside the bar.

According to the lawsuit, Hermiz was speaking with two women when the other man approached them and started an altercation with the females. He said he then confronted Stuart who then head-butted him.

Hermiz claims he was defending himself and the women when he was grabbed by the bouncers, taken outside, and handed over to Royal Oak Police. He believes the bouncers may have mistaken him for Stuart - the man who he claims started the fight.

Once outside, Hermiz said the four police officers threw him to the sidewalk and simultaneously tased him in the back. He said he was thrown face-first to the ground and an officer landed on his back, who continued to tase him on his left side after he landed on the ground.

Immediately after, he said another officer had another Taser and used it on his right side of his back. At the same time, another officer was captured on video tasing him in the right leg.

Bystanders could be heard shouting at officers to "Stop tasing him" and saying that he was down.

At that point, the three officers on his back handcuffed him and then rolled him over. A fourth officer then pressed his knee into the left side of his chest while another officer kneed him in his abdomen, the lawsuit claims.

Hermiz was arrested and took a breathalyzer at the police department. He blew a 0.112.


Around 10:30 that night, he was released from custody and went to Royal Oak Beaumont for treatment of his injuries. The next day, he went to Henry Ford Hospital-West Bloomfield because he said he had a headache and nausea.

Hermiz said his eye was swollen and had significant pain in his right wrist, thigh, neck, lower back, and right foot. He said he's also experiencing pain from light as a result of the use of force.

Hermiz is seeking $75,000 in damages.

A check of Hermiz's criminal history revealed that he was arrested and charged with narcotic and drug-related violations in August 2015. After initially pleading not guilty, he changed his plea in October to guilty and was given a three month delayed sentence. On January 29, 2016, all charges were dismissed.

The Royal Oak Police Department has not responded to the lawsuit at this time.