CHARLESTON - A Logan County man is alleging police used excessive force when arresting him on domestic violence charges.
The Logan County Sheriff’s Department is named as a co-defendant in a civil rights suit filed by Charles Allen Simpkins. In his complaint filed July 1 in U.S. District Court, Simpkins, 28 and an Accoville resident, alleges a sheriff’s deputy enforced street justice after arresting him two years ago following an argument between his girlfriend and her brother.
According to the complaint, Simpkins on July 8, 2011, made a 911 call regarding a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. Deputies James Brown, and Brumfield later arrived at unspecified time.
Upon their arrival, Simpkins says he exited the house, and began speaking with Brown and Brumfield. Shortly thereafter, he alleges Brown handcuffed him, sprayed him with pepper spray and put him in the back of the cruiser.
Later, Simpkins asked Brown to roll down the window. According to the complaint, Brown responded by spraying Simpkins again with pepper spray, and threatened to “whip his ass.”
At an unspecified time, Brown and Brumfield departed the scene to take Simpkins back to Logan for booking. Instead of taking the most direct route on U.S. 119, Simpkins claims they traveled via old W. Va. 10.
When they arrived at Earling Elementary School, Simpkins alleges Brumfield pulled over and stopped the car. Afterwards, he claims Brown exited the vehicle and, while wearing weighted/reinforced gloves, removed him from the backseat and began “punching and kicking” him.
After an unspecified period of time, Simpkins alleges Brown proclaimed he “don’t see how he has any teeth left.” According to the complaint, after Brumfield stopped Brown from battering Simpkins, they got back in the cruiser and continued to Logan.
Eventually, the suit claims Brown and Brumfield took Simpkins to Logan Area Medical Center for treatment. There, he says he was diagnosed with, among other things, “a non-displaced fracture of the nasal bone on the left side, facial contusions, scalp contusions, rib contusions and contusions to the left ankle area.”
According to the criminal complaint filed in Logan Magistrate Court, Simpkins was charged with domestic battery, battery on a police officer, malicious wounding and brandishing a deadly weapon. However, on Dec. 11, 2011, Magistrate Leonard Codispoti granted a motion by the Logan Prosecutor’s Office to dismiss the charges after Simpkins’ girlfriend, Felicia Wolford, disputed the facts in the criminal complaint, and did not want to purse the case any further.
In his suit, Simpkins seeks unspecified damages, attorneys fees and court costs. He is represented by Charleston attorneys Michael T. Clifford, and Rachael K. Garlow.
Brown is named as a co-defendant in the suit.
The case is assigned to Judge Thomas E. Johnston.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number 13-cv-16613