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Family of man Tased on Interstate 25 and then hit by car sues Larimer County

The family of a man who died after being Tased and then run over on Interstate 25 near Fort Collins has filed a lawsuit against Larimer County, calling their son’s death wholly preventable.

Brent Thompson, 28, was killed after being hit by an SUV traveling at about 70 mph after a traffic stop in February 2023.

Thompson ran from a sheriff’s deputy who had pulled him over after he was driving on expired plates. The deputy confronted him about giving him a fake name at the traffic stop near the Budweiser plant outside of Fort Collins.

Earlier that evening, Thompson had argued with his mother about whether he should take his girlfriend’s car with expired plates out. She wanted him to just stay home, but he left and took her cat, Simon.

Authorities say he went to a hotel near I-25 and then left the parking lot at around 9:10 p.m.

Deputy Lorenzo Lujan was in a nearby patrol car and saw that Thompson’s plates were expired. The deputy followed him and pulled him over once he got onto I-25. Thompson pulled his car over on an off-ramp and stepped out of the vehicle. He gave a fake name to the sheriff’s deputy. In investigation documents furnished by the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office, Thompson’s girlfriend said at the time he was afraid of law enforcement officers because of an ongoing struggle with fentanyl and the egregious withdrawal symptoms he would have to suffer through in jail.

When Lujan discovered Thompson gave him a false name, he told Thompson that he was going to place him under arrest. Thompson ran. And Lujan chased him down a steep embankment and onto the interstate. Thompson attempted to jump a guardrail but got his foot stuck and he stumbled onto the shoulder of a northbound lane.

Lujan yelled out a warning that he was about to shock Thompson and when he caught up with him, he deployed a Taser and Thompson fell into the lane. A car was coming and struck Thompson, who was paralyzed in the lane of traffic from the stun gun.

Authorities say they pursued Thompson for driving under revocation, driving with an expired tag, possible impaired driving, and providing a false name. Larimer County District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin decided against charging Lujan with any crimes, but he called the incident tragic.

Thompson’s mother, Karen Kay Thompson, said Monday that she hoped to seek justice for her son and that she hoped that what happened to him could inspire training about traffic stops near interstates — particularly with the use of force.

“Brent’s infractions didn’t warrant this,” she said, in an interview. “It’s so personal to me. My heart is shattered.”

Thompson’s lawsuit was filed Monday morning. There was no immediate response from Larimer County.

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