NEW ORLEANS – A Tangipahoa Parish man is seeking damages against the Hammond City Police force and its jail for alleged police brutality.
Bryan T. Wagner filed a lawsuit on Feb. 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against the city of Hammond, Hammond City Jail, Hammond City Police, Police Chief Roddy Devall, Officer Matthew Schenck, Office Ryan D. Bergeron and Officer Jason O’Quinn, citing negligence, use of excessive force, and violations of his Fourth, Eighth, and 14th Amendment rights.
Wagner alleges that on or about Feb. 18, 2015, he was pulled over at approximately 2:15 a.m. by defendants Schenck, O’Quinn and Bergeron during a routine traffic stop. The officers allegedly asked Wagner to step out of his vehicle and stand near the rear of his car. They allegedly performed a frisk on him and then informed Wagner of an alleged bench warrant for his arrest from an alleged previous charge.
Wagner claims that the warrant was cleared weeks before and that it must have been a clerical error. It was then that Wagner alleges the police brutality occurred when he was grabbed by the wrist and slammed onto the asphalt. An officer allegedly placed his knee upon Wagner’s back, another officer placing his boot and/or knee upon his face, and the last officer allegedly jumped on top of him. Wagner alleges that he experienced excruciating pain and pleaded for the officers to get off of him. They allegedly ignored his request and drove him to Hammond City Jail.
Wagner claims that he could barely walk due to the pain and was placed in the holding cell for five hours. His requests for medical care were allegedly denied until a new officer heeded his request and transported him to Lallie Kemp Hospital. It was allegedly discovered that Wagner had a ruptured small intestine which caused leakage into his abdominal cavity. Wagner alleges that, due to the unlawful and abusive actions of the defendants, he had to undergo emergency surgery to remove part of his small intestine and had to remain in the hospital for five days.
Wagner is now suing for full compensatory damages plus any and all equitable relief to which he is entitled. He is seeking a jury trial and is represented by Joshua M. Palmintier from deGravelles, Palmintier, Holthaus & Fruge in Baton Rouge.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-01376-SM-KWR