A Covington-area man filed a lawsuit against the St. Tammany Sheriff's Office claiming deputies fractured his skull.
John Sims claimed the incident happened during a beating last year at the parish jail.
He also claimed the sheriff's office denied him proper medical attention.
He notes the incident happened the same day the jail's longtime medical director submitted a resignation letter.
The sheriff's office insists deputies acted appropriately in handling what it described as a "dangerous situation."
They issued the following statement:
In regards to the lawsuit filed by Mr. Sims and Ms. Hazlett related to their arrest on the evening of May 23, 2017, STPSO deputies were dispatched to the Abita View Apartments due to a possible disturbance. When deputies arrived on the scene, they were advised by Ms. Hazlett that Mr. Sims was "breaking things and that [she] thinks he's on something." During their investigation, Mr. Sims continually ignored the deputy's commands and ultimately charged one of the deputies on the scene and attempted to wrestle the deputy to the ground. After a struggle, deputies gained control of Mr. Sims and he was taken into custody and arrested for the following: battery of a police officer, resisting an officer with force or violence, illegal carrying of a weapon while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), possession of CDS and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Ms. Hazlett was also arrested for illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of CDS and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Mr. Sims plead guilty earlier this year to resisting arrest, while the District Attorney's Office subsequently dismissed the charges against Ms. Hazlett.
The Sheriff believes his deputies acted appropriately in responding to a dangerous situation and utilizing only that level of force required to bring these individuals into custody. The Sheriff stands behind the actions of his deputies and is confident this lawsuit will ultimately be dismissed.
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