SPRINGFIELD >> A Springfield man has filed a federal lawsuit alleging city police used excessive force when they doused him with pepper spray and struck him with a baton in his own home during a custody dispute involving his 2-year-old grandson.
The Republican newspaper reports that the suit filed by Lee Hutchins Sr. names the city and three officers as defendants. It seeks $500,000 in damages.
The suit says the officers and the young boy's mother came to his home shortly after midnight in January 2013 to get the boy. Hutchins' adult son, the boy's father, also lived in the home.
The suit says police "unlawfully" entered the home to look for the boy then pepper sprayed and struck the 49-year-old Hutchins.
The city denied the allegations in its court response.