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Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Dykstra Says L.A. Deputies Whaled on Him

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Former baseball star Lenny Dykstra was brutally assaulted by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in jail two years ago, losing several teeth and suffering a badly bruised body, Dykstra claims in court.

Dykstra sued the County, nine deputies, two sergeants, a captain, and 10 nurses and doctors in Superior Court.

Dykstra claims a number of sheriff's deputies entered his jail cell on April 5, 2012, and beat him without cause, "punching him in the head, the face, the nose, the mouth, the arms, the legs and body." The deputies then "slammed his head into the wall, kicked him, and beat him until he sat still-less [sic] on the cell floor, barely breathing, until he recaught his breath and began screaming in anguish and pain," the complaint states.

Dykstra, a center fielder who played for the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets, was serving time on charges of grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement.

After he was beaten, Dykstra says, "deputies entered his cell, dragged him out by his arms outreached, dragged him through the hallways in the presence of other cellmates as an example of the terrorism practiced by the sheriffs at Men's Central Jail to induce terroristic effects, and dumped him in an infirmary, confused, battered, and traumatized, where their hovering and helicoptering presence (at least five identified deputies dragged Dykstra into the infirmary and stayed) sent the effective message to the nurses and doctors on staff - don't do your job."

When a captain learned that Dykstra was in the infirmary, he ordered medical staff to label the former baseball star "crazy," and have him institutionalized and forcibly medicated to cover-up the beating, Dykstra says. The captain's plan was thwarted, however, when a doctor ordered Dykstra removed from the psych ward.

After Dykstra returned to his jail cell, he says, he was denied access to visitors for a week. When he was allowed to see visitors, had had visible bruises, scabs and scarring from his injuries, and multiple missing teeth.

According to the complaint, the Men's Central Jail of Los Angeles is dominated by corrupt deputies that make "the cinematic cops of 'Copland' look like kiddie play, evidently their professional and ethical edification from Training Day; the kind of men who idolize the overseers of yesteryear and make even the malevolent brutality of the corrupt brutality of the corrupt local sheriffs in 'Mississippi Burning' look like hapless small-time amateurs."

Twenty-one Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were indicted recently on federal civil rights charges in an ongoing investigation by the FBI.

After the assault, the Sheriff's Department denied that any assault took place, and after Dykstra was released from jail it refused to provide him with copies of any records of the incident, Dykstra claims.

Dykstra was sentenced to 6½ months in December 2012 for bankruptcy fraud, money laundering, and concealment of assets after he hid, sold or destroyed a number of items from his bankruptcy estate. He was released from prison in June 2013.

He seeks damages for civil rights violations and defamation. He is represented by Robert Barnes of Malibu.

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