The city of Denver signed off on a $295,000 settlement for a man who died after a confrontation with police at the zoo.
Denver city council members voted to approve the settlement between the victim's mother Gail Waters and the city Monday evening.
On July 18, 2011, 29-year-old Alonzo Ashley took a trip to the Denver Zoo with his girlfriend and several of her family members.
An autopsy report said Ashley became very thirsty and dunked his head in a fountain.
Zoo security approached Ashley, worried Ashley was suffering from heat exhaustion.
Ashley refused medical assistance. As a security officer walked away, Ashley ran after the man and assaulted him.
Denver Police arrived on scene and attempted to subdue Ashley.
The autopsy report said Ashley bit both a zoo employee and a police officer. Another report from the city said Ashley claimed to live at the zoo and claimed to be a lion.
The autopsy reported indicated Ashley was suffering from what's called Excited Delirium.
Denver Police restrained him, and hit him with a stun gun multiple times.
He was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
Attorney Kevin Flesch said the settlement is welcome news for Ashley's mother.
"This settlement indicates, I think to everybody, that at least the city is taking some kind of responsibility for his death," Flesch said. "She wanted the amount to be substantial in the sense of sending a message to the community that, number one, the city had done something wrong to her family."
The lawsuit alleged that Denver Police used excessive force, but Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey cleared the officers of any wrongdoing.
The city attorney said in a statement "the City and County of Denver reached a settlement with the Ashley family, regarding the 2011 death of Alonzo Ashley. After thoughtful evaluation of this case, the city concluded that it is more responsible to the taxpayers to settle the matter rather than engaging in a long and costly litigation process.”