I-Team: Former inmate whose assault was captured on video files lawsuit against Cuyahoga County jailers

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– The Fox 8 I-Team has learned a  lawsuit has been filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on behalf of a former inmate with mental health conditions, that alleges he was strapped to a restraint chair and beaten.

The former Cuyahoga County sheriff, and former jailers are named as defendants.

Atty. Paul Cristallo filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of his client, Terrance Debose. The lawsuit states the assault took place inside the Cuyahoga County Jail on March 22, 2019.

“Mr. Debose, an individual with mental health conditions, was wrongfully restrained and savagely beaten in the face and head,” the lawsuit states. “He was then subjected to further humiliation and violations of his Constitutional rights by being put in isolation, denied medical care, ignored and/or ridiculed by jail staff.”

The two former jailers, Nicholas Evans, and Timothy Dugan, both pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the matter.

Evans pleaded guilty to attempted felonious assault and tampering with evidence, and Dugan  entered guilty pleas to attempted abduction and misdemeanor assault.

“Mr. Debose was eventually wheeled from the restraint room to the dispensary,” the suit alleges.  “While in the dispensary, he was given a cursory examination and virtually no medical treatment. Mr. Debose, having just been brutally attacked, was literally begging for medical attention. Mr. Debose repeatedly explained that he had been severely beaten, but he was ignored.”

Cristallo says the assault was captured on jail security video.

“Those suffering with mental health conditions, such as Mr. Debose are among the most vulnerable and least protected members of our society,” Cristallo said. “Currently, the world is battling the coronavirus pandemic. Suddenly all of us have been made keenly aware of what it means to be vulnerable, disadvantaged and to some degree, helpless.”

We reached out to a county spokesperson to discuss the matter but have not yet received a response.

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