Family of Marine killed by police explains $5 million claim

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It has been nearly four months since a Scottsdale police lieutenant shot and killed Sgt. Jason Prostrollo, a Marine home from two tours in Iraq who threatened officers with pieces of a pool cue.

Lt. Ron Bayne, a 19-year veteran of the force, fired the deadly shots.

Now the Prostrollo family has filed a $5 million dollar wrongful death claim against the city of Scottsdale.

"It doesn't come close to compensating for Jason's life, it's not an amount of money that me or my family needs, it's a number that I think demonstrates the severity of the situation," Warren Prostrollo, Jason's father said.

Jason Prostrollo, 25, was out drinking and playing pool the night of January 27th. He left a Scottsdale bar with a couple he had known for a few months, and went back to their home in North Scottsdale.

According to police reports, Prostrollo continued drinking and became excessively drunk. The homeowner called him a cab and asked him to leave.

Police said Prostrollo ended up pulling a knife on his cab driver, and demanded the driver return him to the North Scottsdale home. The driver dropped Jason off and then called 911 to report what had happened.

Meanwhile, Prostrollo's pool buddies also called 911when they realized he'd come back to their house.

It was after 3 a.m. when officers arrived. They said Prostrollo came out of the 135th Place home wielding two pieces of a pool cue.

According to police reports, Lt. Ron Bayne told detectives later that morning that he saw Prostrollo walking down the walkway with two sticks. Bayne said Prostrollo ignored commands from officers and appeared as if he wanted to fight.

Bayne noted that Prostrollo was doing a "ninja type karate thing with sticks in front of him."

"I felt like he was just gonna lunge out and smack the hell out of 'em with those sticks and I shot him," Bayne added.

Bayne fired two shots, hitting Prostrollo and a K-9 which had been deployed.

According to police reports, Bayne was not aware the dog had been released when he shot and initially did not realize the K-9 was hit. 

Police said it was too windy to use a taser the night of the shooting, but Prostrollo's attorney's dispute that.

"There seems to be a mentality that lethal force is an early option as opposed to a last option," Warren Prostrollo said.

Warren Prostrollo's attorney, Joel Robbins, said the dog was shot as it lunged at Jason Prostrollo and was not given a chance to do its job before lethal force was used.

Warren Prostrollo said he was also upset that none of the officers administered medical aid after his son was shot.

"The attention was on first aid for the dog, there was no mention of any first aid or medical aid for Jason, indeed all they did was go handcuff him, and he was dead," he said. "All that did was reinforce to me that their priorities are absolutely wrong."

"I will admit there probably were some bad choices made that night, number one, drinking as much as he did, number two, going over to that house, and of course number 3 coming out, but I just cannot accept that the outcome had to occur the way it did," Warren Prostrollo said.

Scottsdale Police Sgt. Mark Clark said in an e-mail that police are awaiting the results of the internal and external reviews before making any conclusions about the incident.

Detectives forwarded their death investigation report to the Maricopa County Attorney for review last week.

"We ask that the public allow the process to be completed before drawing any conclusions," Clark wrote.