PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a man hit with a police pepper ball following a 2017 Donald Trump rally.
In August of 2017, Josh Cobin was struck in the groin by a pepper ball fired by Phoenix police during the protest. "It was a projectile the size of a golf ball that was shot at 220 miles an hour from a distance of 20 yards ... at my groin," said Cobin.
In a video that went viral, Cobin can be seen kicking a can at officers before getting hit. But he said he kicked the can because he was shot in the back before that while he was running away and helping another person hurt.
"It's twice as painful as getting hit by a baseball in the groin, so it was humiliating," Cobin said at the time. While no permanent damage was done, Cobin said he suffered severe pain and bruising an inch above his genitals.
"And then to see officers posting about it and mocking me was even worse," Cobin had said. He claimed he found posts on social media that were at his expense. He said the memes and captions the officers wrote were mocking and hateful. "Found three current officers who had posted in the aftermath of the event about me," he had said. "Honestly, that really was the final straw."
Cobin filed a lawsuit against the City of Phoenix and other defendants in the case. But now, a judge has ordered the lawsuit dismissed, ironically issuing the ruling on the day of yet another President Trump rally in Phoenix.
The judge's ruling states that the case lacked a "factual allegation in the complaint," and would demand more than "an unadorned the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.”
Two days after the 2017 incident, Cobin was arrested at work and charged with a felony. "It was about 1 p.m. and the HR guy is like, 'Hey Josh, police are here, they say they want you to come down and they say they have the building surrounded if you try to leave,'" recalled Cobin in 2018. He later made a deal pleading guilty to unlawful assembly, a misdemeanor, in exchange to have the felony charge dropped.