Woman Receives Million Dollar Settlement from Kalamazoo County

Posted at 7:02 PM, Dec 21, 2012

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –  A woman from Scotts received a $1 million settlement from Kalamazoo County.

Michelle Selbee was thrown to the ground by a deputy after he mistakenly thought she was a suspect in a home invasion case.

Kalamazoo County Sheriff Deputy Larry Czarnowski and Reserve Deputy Nicholas Mihalek were chasing John and Denise Metzelberg.

The deputies didn’t see which way the Metzelberg’s went and turned down Selbee’s Street to hunt for them.

Video from a dash camera in the deputy’s vehicle shows Czarnowski pulling in front of Selbee’s car to block her in.

Selbee was planning to go shopping with her son and was waiting for him in the car.

Both deputies screamed at Selbee while Czarnowski ran to her car and pulled her out and to the ground by her hair.

Selbee showed the large handful of hair that was torn out of her head during the confrontation.

“I could hear the hair popping as it was being ripped out,” said Selbee. “The brutality of the whole thing. I could see it in his face as he was running at my car. He intended to hurt me flat-out and he did.”

Although the county agreed to settle the case for $1 million, Selbee’s attorney Ven Johnson says the county will only have to pay a $150,000 deductible. He said an insurance policy will take care of the rest.

Selbee said she can now get a $15,000 surgery for her neck that she has been holding off on because she lacks insurance.

She said she suffered two broken ribs and a neck injury during the attack. She said she also is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Selbee said ironically, it wasn’t the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office who sent her a letter of apology later. She said it was the man deputies were originally chasing, John Metzelberg.

“It`s to say that he feels horrible about his part in what happened to myself and my son and he is begging for us to forgive him,” says Selbee.

Selbee said it’s not Metzelberg that needs to apologize. She is angry with the sheriff’s office for not punishing Czarnowski.

“He had me on my back and had me by the hair, slamming my head down with a gun to my head, slamming my head down repeatedly, asking me questions, slamming my head back down, no, a sorry is not going to cut it no way,” said Selbee.

The attorney representing the county did not return a request for comment as of Friday evening.