NEW ORLEANS -- Michael Baugh said he had just closed up his family's hair salon Friday night when two Louisiana State Police troopers approached his truck, looking for a man waving a gun.
The troopers never did find a gun, but by the end of the confrontation, Baugh was rushed to the University Hospital emergency room with multiple injuries.
Baugh, 26, suffered chipped front teeth, a gash in the back of his head that required staples, a broken right wrist and a laceration the length of his back.
"I told them that it wasn't me. And I was falsely accused. They were saying that it was me," Baugh said. "It was mistaken identity."
According to court records, Baugh was booked with resisting arrest, battery of a police officer and possession of marijuana. The officers stated in a police report that the marijuana was found inside Baugh's truck after a subsequent search.
The report also states that one of the troopers was punched and kicked by Baugh, and the trooper suffered a knee injury that required medical attention. Baugh denies striking the officers.
Baugh and his attorney, David Abdullah, are now preparing a formal brutality complaint against the troopers.
"He was severely beaten," Abdullah said. "There's no dispute about that. And we're gathering the information and we'll soon have a clear picture of how that came to be."
Before filing the complaint, Abdullah said he is checking to if there are witnesses or surveillance video that captured the confrontation. He said he is also preparing a legal motion to preserve any evidence in the possession of the state police, including dash cam video or cell phone images.
Abdullah said the police stop came at about 11 p.m., after Baugh had finished working a 12-hour day as a barber at his family's hair salon, Flaw-Luxe Hair Studio, 110 S. Rampart St.
"There's no doubt that a young man, working hard, trying to do the right thing, had this confrontation with state troopers, which at some point went terribly, terribly wrong."
One trooper is identified in the police report as Eric Thaxton, while the other is only referred to as Trooper Robertson. The officers are deployed in the French Quarter and CBD as part of a 50-trooper contingent sent to assist the short-handed New Orleans Police Department.
Louisiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Nicholas Manale said the agency will deal with any complaint once it is filed.
"We take these matters seriously and we will investigate all aspects of this case thoroughly," Manale said.
The police report states that the troopers were responding to a call of man in a truck waving a handgun in the area of Elk and Canal streets.
Baugh said he was cooperated with the troopers when they approached, asking about a gun. He said he told the troopers they had the wrong guy, and some elements of the police report support Baugh's claim of mistaken identity.
While the complaint referred to a man with a gun on Elk Street, Baugh was parked a block away on Rampart Street. Baugh said he was parked in a truck, but a gray truck, not a black one as described in the report.
Nevertheless, Baugh said he was cooperating and looking for his ID when one of the troopers startled him from behind. That caused him to jerk away and, then next thing Baugh remembers was getting shocked twice by a stun gun.
The police report by Thaxton states that he deployed his Taser, "striking the male in the back. The male fell to the ground on the asphalt. I continued to give loud verbal commands to stop resisting. The male was able to get back up and began running again down Elk Street. I activated my Taser again."
"I have holes in my back from the prongs of the Taser that I was Tased with twice. Not once, but twice," Baugh said. "It's just not right. They had the wrong person and I told them that. I kept saying, "Why me? Why me?"
In the police report, the troopers stated they search Baugh's truck after detecting the smell of marijuana. They stated that they found a plastic pill bottle with "green leafy matter" that later tested positive for marijuana.
Baugh's criminal record shows a 2010 marijuana possession case for which he entered the district attorney's diversion program.