CHARLESTON - A lawsuit alleging brutality by police agencies in Mingo County has been filed in Federal Court.
The suit was filed by Calvin Wilkerson, 22, of Williamson, after an incident in January 2009.
According to court documents, Wilkerson’s mother had requested a mental evaluation of Wilkerson. He was in the custody of Deputy Chris Haynes of the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department when Wilkerson’s mother asked that his handcuffs be removed so he could eat.
Afterward, Wilkerson struggled with the deputy, who requested assistance from Williamson Police Department Patrolman John Hall. As Hall and Haynes struggled with Wilkerson, West Virginia State Troopers B.R. Moore, C.D. Kuhn and WVSP Cpl. S.T. Harper also arrived to offer assistance, and Wilkerson was restrained.
Wilkerson was then placed under arrest and taken to the Williamson detachment of the West Virginia State Police. The lawsuit, filed by E. Lavoyd Morgan Jr., says that a state trooper tripped Wilkerson as he exited the police car to go into the State Police post.
Wilkerson allegedly slipped from handcuffs and exited the building while he was being processed.
WVSP released police dogs to catch Wilkerson, and the lawsuit says the dogs attacked the plaintiff as he tried to protect himself. Once the dogs had Wilkerson on the ground, the lawsuit said, officers stuck and kicked him, and a dog bit him after he was under control.
Wilkerson was transported to Williamson Memorial hospital for treatment of his injuries, and then to Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden.
At no time did Wilkerson have any weapons in his possession nor anything in his hand and was in fact restrained during part of the attack, the suit states.
The lawsuit says Wilkerson’s constitutional rights were violated and the actions of the defendants were not taken in good faith and were in violation of clearly established laws.
The suit claims that the actions of the defendants were reprehensible, fraudulent, willful and wanton, malicious and in blatant intentional disregard of Wilkerson’s rights.
The plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and demands a trial by jury.