Ohio Bowling Alley Where Off-Duty Officer Killed Man Settles Suit for $1.2M

July 29, 2020

The company that owned a Cleveland, Ohio, bowling alley has settled part of a lawsuit brought by the family of a man who was fatally shot there by an off-duty police officer in 2018.

Court documents show the company that owned Corner Alley Uptown, which has since closed, reached an agreement with Thomas Yatsko’s parents on July 14 to end part of their lawsuit connected to their son’s death. If approved, the company will pay Yatsko’s parents $1.2 million, Cleveland.com reported.

Yatsko, 21, got into a fight with a friend inside the bowling alley on Jan. 13, 2018, when off-duty Sgt. Dean Graziolli was working as a security guard there. Yatsko then fought with Graziolli outside, punching him in the face multiple times. Garziolli pulled his gun and shot Yatsko twice. He died a short time later.

His parents, Melissa Yatsko and Darian Allen, sued the company, the officer and the Cleveland police department, alleging that Graziolli used excessive force and failed to provide medical care to their son.

The settlement would end part of Yatsko’s parents lawsuit. Their complaints against the Cleveland police and the officer are ongoing.

A grand jury declined to indict Graziolli on criminal charges. Cleveland police say they will wait until all legal proceedings have ended before determining whether they will discipline the officer.

At the time of the shooting, the Cleveland police department was operating under a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice and had just introduced a new policy to deescalate confrontations.

The policy also mandated officers to carry less-than-lethal weapons, which Graziolli was not on the night of the fatal shooting.

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