A Riverview Psychiatric Center outpatient shot three times by an Augusta police officer in 2015 is suing that officer and the city of Augusta, seeking $2.5 million in damages.

The lawsuit by Jason Begin, 37, who is now back in the state psychiatric hospital in Augusta, contends his civil rights were violated when he was shot and that he did not give Augusta police Officer Laura Drouin permission to shoot him.

The complaint, filed Feb. 16 in U.S. District Court in Bangor by attorneys Bradford Pattershall and Matthew Bowe, says Drouin was acting in her capacity as a law enforcement officer for the city at the time.

Last month, the state attorney general ruled that Drouin was defending her life and others’ lives when she shot Begin, who drew a knife and threatened to harm himself and others after being told he was being returned to the hospital after living in the community as an outpatient.

On Thursday, attorney Edward Benjamin Jr., who represents both Drouin and the city, pointed to the attorney general’s report exonerating Drouin for use of deadly force. Benjamin said he had just received a copy of the complaint and had not yet met with his clients.

An internal investigation by Augusta police indicated Drouin followed correct procedures.

Begin had been taken to the Riverview outpatient team’s offices on Jan. 12, 2015, where he was questioned about an allegation that Begin had provided another person with marijuana and had used the drug himself, according to the lawsuit.

Begin referred to his many clean drug tests while he had been living in the community and offered to take a lie detector test to prove he was telling the truth, the lawsuit says. Team members told him they planned to search his room and Begin said he wanted to be present for the search, the lawsuit says.

Team members decided to return Begin to Riverview and called for an Augusta police officer to drive him there. Drouin responded.

Begin objected to being returned to the hospital, telling the treatment team, “I didn’t do anything wrong,” the lawsuit says, and “I’m not going back to the hospital.” Begin had been living outside Riverview for about a year.

When told a police officer would take him back, the lawsuit says, “Mr. Begin took a pocket knife out of one of his pockets, stated, ‘I should have done this moons ago,’ and cut himself on his left bicep.” The attorney general’s report says Begin slashed his own arm and threatened to stab others in the room.

“Mr. Begin was armed with a concealed folding knife at the meeting,” investigators wrote. “He said it was his intention to kill himself with the knife if the team decided to send him back to Riverview.”

The lawsuit says that Begin did not threaten anyone else.

“Approximately five seconds after he cut himself with his pocket knife, Officer Drouin fired three shots at Mr. Begin with her duty handgun, a .40 caliber Glock Model 23,” the lawsuit says.

Begin was struck three times – in the chest, puncturing a lung, in the left shoulder and in his lower left chest, shattering ribs. The complaint says he suffered permanent injuries, including partial paralysis and scarring as well as emotional distress.