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Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Tony Petrie sued on police brutality charge

James Needham, who was arrested June 10, 2007 for driving while intoxicated, is now suing Beltrami County and Deputy Tony Petrie charging police brutality.

Needham, 47, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty and was sentenced June 16 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. Two additional charges of felony fleeing police in a motor vehicle and gross misdemeanor obstructing the legal process were dismissed. He was sentenced to one year in jail with 355 days stayed for two years.

Needham's attorney in the lawsuit against the county and deputy is Tom Kuesel.

The lawsuit accuses Petrie of negligent excessive use of force, unlawful battery and deprivation of rights, and holds Beltrami County vicariously liable for Petrie's actions.

The lawsuit asks for damages for Needham's pain and suffering in excess of $50,000.

Read full story in Friday's Pioneer.