HUNTINGTON – A Hurricane man claims police placed handcuffs too tightly around his wrists, causing him to sustain nerve damage.
Terry Caldwell filed a federal suit March 25 against Hurricane police officers C.J. Holloran and T.J. Dillon and the city of Hurricane.
He says Hurricane police were called to his home after he was involved in a non-violent, verbal disagreement with his spouse on March 30, 2007.
Caldwell claims the officers placed him into custody and handcuffed him behind his back.
Even though Caldwell surrendered peacefully and without incident to the police, the handcuffs were placed on him in "an excessively tight manner and were clenching into plaintiff's wrists so tightly that they could not be moved or slid, not even a little," the complaint states.
Immediately, Caldwell complained to officers that the handcuffs were too tight and asked the officers to loosen them, according to the suit.
However, the officers denied his request and instead placed him into a police cruiser where he was forced to sit on his handcuffed hands for about an hour as he was transported to the Hurricane Police Department and then to the Western Regional Jail, the complaint says.
"Sitting on the already overly-tightened handcuffs caused the pain in plaintiff's wrists and hands to become increasingly severer, and then eventually numb," the suit states.
Officers continued to respond to Caldwell's repeated requests to loosen the handcuffs by saying, "You'll just have to tough it out," the suit states.
By the time his handcuffs were removed at the Western Regional Jail, Caldwell says his hands were numb and had turned blue.
"The handcuffs left the plaintiff's wrists bruised and numb for days afterwards," the suit states.
Even after his release, Caldwell continued to experience pain and a numbing sensation, so he went to an orthopedic doctor who determined the handcuffs had caused permanent and irreversible nerve damage to Caldwell's right wrist, according to the complaint.
Caldwell told Hurricane's mayor of the events, but Hurricane disregarded his complaints and told him he would have to file a lawsuit before they would discuss the matter, Caldwell claims.
In his suit, Caldwell claims police violated his First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
In the four-count suit, Caldwell is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages and damages for past, present and future medical expenses and pain and suffering, plus attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.
He is also asking the court for injunctive relief requiring appropriate training, supervision and discipline.
Richard E. Holtzapfel of Holtzapfel Law Offices in Hurricane will be representing him.
U.S. District Court case number: 3:09-0298