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Ohio Jail Detainee Receives $500,000 Settlement for Assault by Guard

A prisoner who was slammed headfirst into a wall by a guard at Ohio’s Hamilton County Jail reached a $500,000 settlement in his civil rights action.

The incident occurred after Mark Myers, 61, was arrested on the morning of August 20, 2016 on a misdemeanor theft warrant. He was accused of having left a Home Depot without paying for $120 in lighting and electrical equipment. Myers was eventually acquitted at trial after it was shown there was a computer error related to an online payment before he picked up the items.

While Myers was going through the jail’s intake process, he asked a nurse for his cell phone so he could call his family. Despite being cooperative and unaggressive toward the nurse, guard Jason Mize became “inexplicably angered.” He interrupted the nurse’s screening and ordered Myers out of his chair.

Security video showed Mize, who was 30 at the time and “extremely physically fit,” force Myers across the room towards an isolation cell intended for combative prisoners. Upon reaching the cell, Mize hurled Myers inside with such force that he “left his feet and collided headfirst with a concrete wall.”

The incident was so violent that the nurse exclaimed, “I hope he’s not dead!” Mize slammed the cell door shut and left Myers alone and bleeding on the floor; he suffered a severe concussion and broken hip. [See: PLN, Jan. 2018, p.63].

During an investigation, Mize lied to his superiors and attempted to conceal the assault. He was recommended for discipline and resigned; he had previously been formally disciplined nine times, including three for using excessive force.

Represented by Cincinnati attorney Paul M. Laufman, Myers filed a civil rights action in federal court in May 2017. The $500,000 settlement was reached on March 28, 2018, and was subsequently approved by the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners. See: Myers v. Mize, U.S.D.C. (S.D. Ohio), Case No. 1:17-cv-00311-MRB. 

Additional source: Cincinnati Enquirer

 

Related legal case

Myers v. Mize