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Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Back issues
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People Can Be So Cruel

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CN) - State highway workers duct-taped a developmentally disabled co-worker to a pole, sodomized him with a Mountain Dew bottle and posted pictures of it on Facebook, the man claims in court.

Jason Moody sued the Alabama Department. of Transportation and 13 co-workers and supervisors at the DOT Oneonta facility, in Federal Court.

Moody, who is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 125 lbs., says he was on a smoke break -workers when defendant Chad Standridge lunged at him. "Moody fled the group and attempted to dodge away but ran into [defendant] Bobby Thomas, who forcibly restrained the plaintiff," the complaint states.

"The men then dragged Moody to the hydraulic lift pole located in the Oneonta ALDOT garage, retrieved duct tape from an ALDOT vehicle, and bound him to the pole with the duct tape.

"Defendants placed Moody facing the pole and then duct taped his wrists together around the pole. They taped his head so that he could not move it, and taped around his torso to keep him still. Although this is not the first time that these men have restrained the plaintiff in this fashion, their actions on this day did not stop with false imprisonment."

Moody says the men pulled down his pants, and then "Thomas, approaching plaintiff from behind said, 'You're gonna feel this' at which point he struck plaintiff on the buttocks approximately four times with a metal 'lift bar.'

"After being beaten with the 'lift bar,' Moody was forcibly sodomized with a Mountain Dew bottle. Since he was unable to see behind him plaintiff is unsure who wielded the bottle, although defendants showed him the bottle prior to assaulting him."

Moody claims that several members of the group took pictures of him during the ordeal, then called defendant Donald Warren, a supervisor, who "left his office and joined the group inside the garage. Instead of taking any actions to assist Moody, Warren instead approached the plaintiff and placed a baby bottle in his mouth."

Moody says that had been used to feed puppies the crew had found on the side of the road. He says, "the actual source of the milk in the bottle is unknown, but it was suggested by Warren that it had been 'milked' from the injured dog, presumably in an effort to further humiliate and traumatize the plaintiff.

"Plaintiff remained duct taped to the hydraulic pole for between half and hour to an hour. During that period of time, Jones, another supervisor, witnessed the ongoing assault and did nothing to help plaintiff, other than instruct the others to cut him down. Jones did this twice before the group actually released the plaintiff."

Moody says he did not report the incident immediately because of threats from his co-workers. But after pictures were posted on Facebook, he says, he lodged a complaint with ALDOT. He says he "received little or no sympathy from ALDOT employees after his ordeal, even being told ... that '[he] deserved everything [he] got.'

"After the assault various co-workers would taunt plaintiff about it at every opportunity. Plaintiff's derogatory nickname amongst his co-workers is 'killer,' and whenever someone purchased a Mountain Dew beverage one of the defendants would say 'Watch out for Mountain Dew, killer,' or words to that effect."

Moody claims that he was retaliated against after ALDOT investigated, denied overtime and then suspended in August.

Moody says he "was afraid to tell his former wife (to whom he was engaged at the time of the assault) the details of what he had endured, but eventually did so after seeking therapy. Unfortunately, the emotional distress plaintiff suffered and continues to suffer caused significant problems in his marriage, which was terminated by divorce in July 2012."

Moody seeks compensatory and punitive damages for civil rights violations, disability discrimination, false imprisonment, retaliation, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring and supervision and invasion of privacy.

He is represented by Mary-Ellen Bates of Bates Hetzel in Birmingham.Named as defendants are the Alabama Department of Transportation, Bobby Thomas, Chad Standridge, Johnny Horn, Randy Muvelhill, Donald Warren, Matthias Jones, Demetrius Deavers, Darrell Northcutt, Lonnie White, Chris Jennings, Gary Smith, John Teal and Johnny L. Harris.

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