Sunday, 29 July 2007

Mr. Universe files $5 million claim over beating

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Anyone out there following the case of Mr. Universe's beating and subsequent arrest at the hands of police will be interested in this latest news: a five million dollar lawsuit has been filed by the bodybuilder against Redwood City, California. The suit includes claims for two million dollars in economic damages and three million in non-economic damages.

Read Allie's previous blogs (one and two) on the subject if you want all the details. But here's a quick summary: Mr. Natural Universe, Doug Burns (43), was at the movies in Redwood City, back in April. Burns, a type 1 diabetic, felt a little giddy. Attributing this to low blood sugar, he headed to the lobby for a snack but was intercepted by security who mistook him for a drunk. There followed a struggle with police, during which Burns was allegedly beaten and maced.

Needless to say, this sorry episode is yet another example of how law enforcement see a person swaying, weaving and incoherent and the assumption is always that the person is drunk or high. At least in the case of Doug Burns, the victim has some public clout to help him out. There is an urgent need for education here: police officers must be aware of the signs of hypoglycemia.

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