CHARLESTON – Four Fayette County deputies are accused of beating up a disabled man and later dropping him off at his home without providing him any medical treatment.
Nicholas D. Hall, Robert V. Neal, James K. Sizemore and Dana C. Wysong are named as co-defendants in a five-count civil rights suit filed by Matthew Cole in U.S. District Court. In his complaint filed Dec. 13, Cole, 37 and an Ansted resident, alleges all four beat him without provocation when they responded to a domestic violence call to his cousin’s house two years ago, only to then have Wysong return him to his mother without either explaining his injuries or seeking treatment for them.
According to the suit, Cole was involved in a vehicle accident on Feb. 13, 1993, which, after being in a coma for 18 days, resulted in him undergoing a left front temporal craniotomy. Thirteen years later, he says he was involved in another accident in which he sustained “further head trauma.”
As a result of both accidents, Cole has, among other things, persistent posttraumatic seizures, a numbness and sensory deficit on the right side of his body and double vision, he says. Though permanently physically and mentally disable, Cole says he is able to maintain an independent lifestyle with the help of his mother, Patricia.
According to the suit, Cole went to visit his cousin, Jesse Pike, on Dec. 14, 2010, at Pike’s home in Victor. Sometime during the visit, Pike got into a dispute with his girlfriend that resulted in her calling 911 and alleging Pike shot her in the face with a .357 caliber handgun.
Shortly after the girlfriend, who is not indentified in court records, called 911, Pike took Cole outside and told him to hide from approaching law enforcement. Though he was never involved in the altercation, Cole did as Pike instructed, he says.
At an unspecified time, Hall, Neal, Sizemore and Wysong arrived at Pike’s residence, whereupon they found he and Cole hiding in the driveway. After detaining them and finding Pike’s handgun in his car, Pike was placed under arrest.
According to the suit, sometime after their arrival, all four struck Cole “in the face, head, legs and chest.” Cole claims at no time was he either resisting arrest or assaulting Hall, Neal, Wysong and Sizemore.
At some point, the suit claims Wysong recognized Cole and knew he was disabled. At a time not specified, Wysong transported him back to his house, the suit says.
According to the suit, Wysong left without ensuring Cole arrived safely inside his home. At the time, “there was snow and the ground and the weather was cold,” the suit says.
Upon seeing her son’s injuries, Patricia called 911, the suit says. Despite her requests, dispatchers refused to provide her the name of the deputy who dropped Matthew off or have him return to her home, the suit says.
Eventually, an ambulance took Matthew to the Summersville Regional Medical Center in neighboring Nicholas County for treatment. In the two years since, Matthew alleges his “seizure activity has increased dramatically” and he as become “depressed and obsessed with the beating.”
According to the suit, Matthew was never arrested or charged with any crime stemming from the events of that day.
Along with Hall, Neal, Sizemore and Wysong, the Fayette County Commission is named as a co-defendant in the suit. In West Virginia, the county commissions and sheriffs are co-employers of deputy sheriffs.
Both Matthew and Patricia, who is listed as co-plaintiff in the suit, seek unspecified damages, attorneys fees and court costs. They are represented by Union attorneys John Bryan and Martha J. Fleshman.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, case number 12-cv-8915