Ceredo man accuses Huntington Police Department of excessive force

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 17, 2013

The Jean Dean Public Safety Building, home to the Huntington Police Department

WAYNE - A Ceredo man who was apprehended in Westmoreland is suing the Huntington Police Department for alleged excessive force and brutality after he was apprehended.

Huntington Police Department and Officers J. Talbott and M. Parsons were also named as defendants in the suit.

On March 12, 2012, Talbott and Parsons responded to a Wayne County 911 call that was routed through Cabell County 911 to go to the Piedmont Pantry in Westmoreland, as a result of a report from Katy Merritt, also known as Nikki Layne, a female who reported that she was approached by a male with a gun, according to a complaint filed Oct. 11 in Wayne Circuit Court.

Philip Garrett claims he arrived at Piedmont Pantry with Justin Trent, who was still in Trent's truck when the police officers arrived and instructed Trent to vacate his truck.

The officers allege that Garrett decided to run, but was unable to run a short distance before he was caught and a violent struggle ensued, wherein Talbott and Parsons used excessive force and brutality while Garrett was face-down on the pavement with his arms handcuffed behind his back, according to the suit.

Garrett claims the defendants kicked, struck and used a blackjack on his back, resulting in fractures to his thoracic back; fracture to his eye socket; and bruising and scarring to his skull area.

The acts of excessive force and brutality occurred after Garrett had been apprehended and in the custody of the officers and was not attempting to continue to flea or batter or strike the officers, according to the suit.

Garrett claims the officers exceeded their lawful authority and engaged in misconduct by using excessive force and brutality resulting in serious and permanent injuries.

The use of force was objectively unreasonable, excessive and unwarranted clearly violating his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of West Virginia, according to the suit.

Garrett is seeking compensatory damages of no less than $50,000 and punitive damages of no less than $150,000 with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Michael E. Froble of Froble Law Office.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Darrell Pratt.

Wayne Circuit Court case number: 13-C-206

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