coin bag
Representative image of a bag of coins REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

A man from Royal Oak, Michigan, is suing two court officers who allegedly choked him so badly that he defecated in his pants.

The incident happened when Anthony Sevy had gone to Royal Oak's 44th District Court to pay for a $10 parking ticket in February, his attorney Jonathan Marco said.

He wanted to pay the charge in penny rolls, as a symbolic protest, after the officers had told him earlier that paying through a credit card would invite an additional surcharge of $1.75, his attorney said.

"He wasn't happy about it so, in symbolic protest, he brought back penny rolls to pay for his ticket. The clerk wasn't too happy about that, they refused to allow him to pay with penny rolls," Marco said, Fox2Detroit reported.

Sevy's attorney alleged that the officers didn't leave it at that.

"As he was leaving the court house with his back to the officer, the court officer began to choke him out, grabbing him, brought him to the ground. Mr. Sevy passed out and defecated himself. I don’t think that in the everyday course of business, we poop our pants or go around defecating ourselves," Marco said, adding his client was arrested and put in jail.

It was reported that the entire exchange was caught on surveillance video.

Sevy last Wednesday filed the lawsuit against court officers Philip Barach and Harold Marshall in federal court.

Sevy, in his lawsuit, says the court officers assaulted him, unlawfully arrested him, and violated his right to free speech in what he considered a "symbolic protest" in paying an "unjustified" ticket.

Marco said, "I don't think anyone paying in penny rolls, whether it's a preferred thing to do for a court clerk, warrants this type of this assaultive behavior and violation of constitutional rights.”

Talking to the Fox2Detroit, City Attorney David Gillam said the city is yet to be served the lawsuit but confirmed he was aware of the case.

Gillam said the case was investigated by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office. Sevy had been charged with being offensive, obstructing a police officer in his duty, and disturbing the peace. However, the assault/obstruction charge was dropped after Sevy pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace.

Selvy's attorney Marco said that his client was the victim and suffered more than just physical injuries.

"I think the more profound and long-lasting injury is the psychological injuries he's suffering as a result of this. He's supposed to be in a safe place," he said.

In another incident in June, Brian McGonegal from the city of Jackson, Michigan, who owed $270 for trash in his yard, had decided to pay the fine in pennies, but was denied to do so. McGonegal wanted to pay his fine with 2,700 pennies in his bag.