A Spokane County jury today exonerated a man charged with assaulting the two deputies who shot him several times, leaving the man paralyzed below the chest.
David J. Glidden, 28, broke into tears as the jury read the verdict of “not guilty” on two counts of third-degree assault on officers.
“The cops overreacted. They shot me so many times. I was worried that no one would listen to me,” Glidden said after the decision.
The case began on Oct. 30, 2009, when deputies Aaron Childress and Griffen Criswell responded to 4727 E. Third Ave. regarding a call of a suicidal subject in the home. Childress and Criswell are both deputies assigned to work for the Spokane Valley Police Department.
Public defender Kyle Zeller said the deputies went to opposite corners of the home as Glidden came out his door between the two deputies. As he came out at about 1 p.m., Glidden was holding an Airsoft pellet pistol, which is a toy that resembles an actual firearm but shoots plastic projectiles instead of bullets.
“The deputies thought it was real and they testified that they feared for their safety,” said Zeller, who noted that his client said the deputies never announced their presence.
“I didn’t have an idea that the cops came,” Glidden said.
Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson said that when Glidden turned toward one of the deputies with what they thought was a real gun, they both opened fire. Glidden was hit with at least three bullets from Childress’ .45 caliber pistol, but he believes he was also struck with the blast from Criswell’s shotgun.
Some of the rounds went through the wall of a neighbor’s home.
Zeller noted that the evidence of Glidden’s injuries was not admitted during trial.
“Obviously, we are relieved for Mr. Glidden,” said Zeller, referring to his co-counsel Colin Charbonneau. Glidden “will have to live with this action for the rest of his life.”
Glidden, who is confined to a wheelchair, said he will now seek filing a civil suit against the county for the actions by the deputies.
“I’m going to try to find a surgery so I can walk again,” Glidden said. “I don’t want my kids to grow up without a dad.”