Okla. Officer Files Suit Against State University Football Player


The Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A Tulsa police officer has filed a civil lawsuit against Oklahoma State University football player Prentiss Elliott seeking damages for an alleged assault.

The lawsuit filed Monday by Josh Marton in Tulsa County District Court requests an unspecified amount of damages in excess of $10,000.

The lawsuit contains civil claims of assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

It alleges that Elliott "maliciously attacked" Martin without provocation on Dec. 9, 2003.

"I'm looking forward to exploring his evidence. I think Officer Martin has it backwards again," said Tulsa lawyer Richard O'Carroll, who represents Elliott in the criminal assault case.

Tulsa County prosecutors filed a felony charge of assault and battery on a police officer against Elliot. That charge was rejected by a Tulsa County district judge and prosecutors subsequently filed a misdemeanor count of "assault and battery upon an athletic official" against Elliott, 20.

That charge, filed Nov. 16, stems from Elliott's physical encounter at a high school basketball game with Martin, who was working as a school security officer but was wearing his police uniform.

Assistant District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler maintained that District Judge Tom Gillert erred in ruling that Martin was "not acting in the performance of his duties when he was physically confronted and assaulted by the defendant."

O'Carroll contends that Martin was not performing police duties but rather was in the private employment of Tulsa Public Schools. He has said Elliott has "both legal and factual defenses" to the assault charge.

The state Court of Criminal Appeals on Nov. 1 dismissed, on procedural grounds, an appeal by prosecutors that was aimed at preserving the felony charge after prosecutors failed to meet a deadline for filing a specific document in the appeal's case.

Elliott faces a related misdemeanor count of resisting arrest at the Dec. 9 basketball game, in which he played for the Tulsa High School for Science and Technology.

An OSU freshman wide receiver and kick returner this year, Elliott received honorable mention as an all-purpose performer when The Associated Press' All-Big 12 team was announced last week.

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