Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office sued for wrongful death of man who was hogtied

By Kyle Barnett | Apr 8, 2013

GRETNA – A Jefferson Parish couple is suing the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and numerous deputies for the death of their son while he was in their custody.

Abdul S. and Hajera Khan filed suit against Newell Normand, as successor to Harry Lee, in his official capacity as Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, Deputy Tim Stierwald, Deputy John Obrien, Deputy Steven Trapani, Deputy R. Marx, Deputy J. Check, Deputy David Diondolillo, Deputy Julio Alvarado, Deputy Richard Dykes, Deputy Keidrick Richardson, Deputy Stephen Hartley, Deputy Robert Myles and their insurer in the 24th Judicial District Court on Feb. 4.

In 2007, the Khans claim their son, Nayeem Khan, appeared at the Winn-Dixie on Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie claiming there were people outside the store who wanted to kill him. The plaintiffs allege their son was obviously in a state of paranoia, disoriented and his eyes were glossed over when he was put into handcuffs and sat down in the front of the store while an off duty sheriff’s deputy called 911 for medical assistance. Instead of waiting for medical assistance to arrive the Khans assert 11 deputies who showed up to the store forced Nayeem out of the establishment despite his actual fear that people were waiting to kill him outside the store.

In response to Nayeem’s struggle, the plaintiffs claim the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies sat on his back and handcuffed his hands to his feet in a hogtie position. Nayeem was declared dead on the scene due to asphyxiation.

The defendant is accused of negligently misreading the need for force and applying force inappropriately, failing to attempt to discover whether the deceased was having a psychotic episode or drug induced psychosis, negligent arrest and imprisonment of the deceased without the proper authority, negligently failing to follow proper protocol, disregarding a hogtie device that was banned from use because of its substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury, removing the deceased from the store premises when they knew is would cause extreme distress and causing the escalation of the deceased’s paranoia and creating the use of force when no such need previously existed.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for wrongful death.

Khan is represented by Patrick H. Hufft of New Orleans-based Hufft & Hufft PLC.

The case has been assigned to Division F Judge Michael P. Mentz.

The Khans originally sued the defendants for civil rights violations over their son’s death, but lost the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana as well as an appeal in 5th District Court of Appeals. The Louisiana State Supreme Court also decided not to take up the case.

Case no. 723-557.

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