Civil trial begins in excessive force lawsuit against Augusta Police Officer

Published: May. 21, 2019 at 4:16 PM EDT
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A man shot three times by an Augusta Police Officer in 2015 is suing the person who pulled the trigger.

The civil trial for Officer Laura Drouin began Tuesday.

Jason Begin was on modified release from Riverview Psychiatric Hospital when told he was going to be re-admitted.

Shortly after an incident ensued and he wound up being shot.

Begin had a recorder in his pocket that day, audio that was played in court.

He's heard saying, "I should have done this moons ago," then can be heard the clicking of a knife as he was slashing his arms.

Officer Drouin can be heard shouting, "hey, hey," followed by the sound of three gunshots.

Drouin testified today saying, "He was a threat. I believed he would use that knife against me or someone else to prevent going back to Riverview."

But Begin's attorneys say that wasn't the case.

Begin told the jury, "I didn't want to hurt anyone else. I just didn't want to exist."

Brad Pattershall, Begin's Attorney says, "Her conclusion that he might be a risk to somebody else, we believe is wrong because he cut only himself and never made any movements towards anybody else and he never threatened anybody else before he got shot. We think that's in our favor and also there was no warning given. There was a "hey, hey" then three shots with a 40 caliber handgun."

Drouin's attorneys declined to comment at this time.

Begin is asking for $2.5 million in damages.

The trial is expected to last until Friday.