Lawsuit: 66-year-old endured 'rough ride' in Hamilton County sheriff's van
Posted by Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati Enquirer
Injury photo of Terry Collett (Courtesy: Adam G. Gerhardstein law firm)
Terry Collett (Courtesy: Adam G. Gerhardstein law firm)
CINCINNATI (FOX19) -
A 66-year-old man was injured when Hamilton County special deputies driving him to jail gave him “a rough ride” in a transport van, a federal lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says Terry Collett, who was handcuffed and sat on a steel bench without restraints, was thrown to the van’s floor twice in the 2015 incident.
He suffered injuries including a broken wrist, according to a report from our news partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
According to the lawsuit, the two special deputies – who work for an entity that contracts with the sheriff’s office – “refused to secure Mr. Collett to the seat and drove recklessly, purposely causing Mr. Collett to be thrown around in the back of the van.”
A spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said he could not comment on pending litigation.
Collett, a retired railroad conductor and engineer, was arrested the night of June 5, 2015, after pulling over in a Park-and-Ride near State Route 128 and Interstate 74. The lawsuit says he drank a few beers while fishing and decided he shouldn’t be driving. The West Harrison, Indiana resident called his wife and asked her to pick him up.
A police officer eventually approached the car and arrested him for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Court records show Collett’s blood-alcohol level was .144 percent. The legal limit in Ohio is .08 percent.
Collett was taken to the sheriff’s District Two office in Green Township. Sometime after midnight the lawsuit says the two special deputies, Joanne Taylor and Patrick McKown, “tightly handcuffed his hands behind his back” and placed him on a bench in the van without a seatbelt.
The lawsuit says McKown drove the van to the Hamilton County jail Downtown. While on the 5th Street exit ramp from Interstate 75, the lawsuit says McKown “took the left turn at a high rate of speed.”
Collett fell to the van’s floor, striking his head and rib cage, the lawsuit says. He couldn’t get back on the bench, and “after numerous calls for help,” the lawsuit says the van stopped and the special deputies checked on him. At that point, he was bleeding from a cut on his right elbow.
The special deputies placed him back on the bench, still handcuffed, and continued driving to the jail.
Soon after, at a traffic signal, the lawsuit says McKown “slammed on the breaks and came to an abrupt stop.” Collett was “thrown forward and landed on his left side, striking his left wrist and left chest on the van’s floor. He felt a sharp pain in his wrist.
“Mr. Collett heard the defendant deputies laughing,” the lawsuit says.
When they arrived at the jail, the lawsuit says jail medical staff refused to admit him because of his injuries. Instead, Collett was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
He was treated for lacerations to his right elbow and a carpal bone fracture in his left wrist.
The lawsuit, which alleges excessive force and negligence, says Collett’s left wrist was in a cast for six weeks. It also says the elbow injury developed into an infection that had to be treated with medication and surgery.
The case is in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. No court dates have been scheduled.