Metro Officer Eugene Engle Has To Learn
The Saying Is, “Grab ‘LIFE’ By the Balls,”
Not The Suspects You Arrest
On July 9, 2001, Christopher Tortu and his travelling companion lost their boarding passes for a Southwest Airlines flight leaving from McCarran International Airport. While his friend went to security to look for the lost passes, Tortu remained at the gate in hopes of stalling the plane’s departure until his friend returned. However, once final boarding was announced, Tortu made the ill-fated choice to sneak aboard the aircraft and refused to leave.
That’s when the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police were called. Engle was one of three officers who escorted Tortu down a jetway, onto the tarmac and into a police vehicle. Tortu said he was punched in the head and torso and, once they reached the vehicle, Tortu says he was thrown face-first onto the hood.
Once Tortu was handcuffed and sitting in the backseat of the police SUV, he claims Engle reached into the vehicle, grabbed his testicles and squeezed them for at least 10 seconds. Engle denied that the testicle squeezing occurred, but medical evidence presented at trial showed a definite injury to the man’s testicles. Engle could offer no other explanation for the injury testicles for which there was no other explanation.
A jury initially found in favor of Tortu and awarded him just shy of $200,000. Metro appealed and the case bounced around the judicial system until, according to KLAS Channel 8, the case was eventually settled for $400,000.
Engle is still a member of the department and in 2011 tax payers paid him $129,180.05 in total pay and benefits.