The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

July 5, 2013

Man claims Logan County sheriff's deputies beat him

CHARLESTON — A southern West Virginia man involved in a domestic violence dispute two years ago is suing the Logan County Sheriff’s Department over a beating he says a deputy gave him after his arrest.

Charles Allen Simpkins also sued the two deputies who arrested him in U.S. District Court this week over the July 2011 incident near Accoville.

Simpkins says he called 911 during a fight with his girlfriend and went outside to talk to the two deputies when they arrived. Simpkins says he was immediately pepper-sprayed and shoved into the patrol car.

Simpkins claims he was sprayed a second time and threatened with a beating when he asked deputies to lower the window.   

His complaint says the deputies then took a roundabout way to the jail, stopping behind an elementary school and pulling him from the car. Simpkins says one deputy was wearing weighted or reinforced black leather gloves, and punched and kicked him repeatedly even though he was handcuffed.

After a while, he contends, the other deputy intervened, telling the deputy in the gloves he couldn’t “see how he has any teeth left.”

The pair then took Simpkins to Logan Regional Medical Center, where the lawsuit says Simpkins was treated for a broken nose, and bruises on his face, scalp, ribs and ankle.

The complaint says Simpkins was charged with malicious wounding, domestic battery and brandishing a deadly weapon.

The beating was illegal, malicious and a violation of his state and federal civil rights, Simpkins’ complaint argues. He’s seeking unspecified compensatory damages for his medical expenses, for lost wages, and for physical and emotional suffering. He’s also demanding punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

Sheriff Sonya Dingiss Porter was out of the office Friday and did not immediately return a phone message about the case. The department has not yet filed a response, and no court dates have been set.

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