BOWLING GREEN, Mo. (PIX11) — A Missouri father’s lawsuit alleges after police officers tased him to keep him from rushing into a burning home to save his 3-year-old stepson, who later perished in the blaze.
“He was my best friend,” Ryan Miller told the Louisiana Press Journal days after the fire. “He was everybody’s best friend. If you would have met him, you would have loved him. He was the joy of my life.”
Miller and his wife sued the city of Louisiana, Missouri, and landlord Louis Houston on March 12, Courthouse News Service reports. Their 3-year-old son, Riley Rieser, died in the Oct. 31, 2013, blaze.
After the couple made it out of the burning home, Ryan Miller started back toward the fire to rescue the toddler. But he said police officers prevented him from doing so by forcibly moving him and repeatedly using a stun gun on him.
“I was hysterical, yes, because I wanted to save my son,” Ryan Miller said told the Press Journal.
The lawsuit claims the officers “used more force than was reasonably necessary under the circumstances.” Miller said he was put in a holding cell while his stepson was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to the complaint, the blaze was sparked by faulting wiring. It alleges that the building’s landlord ignored repeated warnings from city housing officials and did not have a permit to lease the property because it hadn’t been inspected in more than two years, the outlet reports.
The Millers’ lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the city and punitive damages from the home’s landlord.