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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
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The Law in Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (CN) - A skinny 66-year-old partially paralyzed man couldn't get out of his car fast enough during a traffic stop, so a sheriff's deputy pulled him out and slammed his face to the pavement, fracturing his nose, face and jaw, the man claims in court.

Brady Lewis sued Marion County, its Sheriff Berkley Hall, and his alleged assailant, Deputy Josh Messer, in Federal Court.

Messer pulled Lewis over on April 23, 2012, the complaint states. Lewis, then 66, is 5 foot 9 and weighed 120 lbs. His left arm and leg are partially paralyzed.

"As Mr. Messer attempted to exit his vehicle upon the request of Deputy Messer, Deputy Messer forcibly pulled him from the vehicle and slammed him face-first onto the pavement, suffering extensive and multiple facial fractures and dislodging his false teeth," according to the complaint.

"Mr. Lewis posed no threat to Deputy Messer. The force used against Mr. Lewis was unlawful unnecessary, unjustifiable and excessive."

Lewis says he suffered "a comminuted nasal bone fracture, facial and jaw fractures, and multiple lacerations to his face."

He was hospitalized for 3 weeks, his jaw was wired shut, he was fed through a tube and needed a tracheostomy and intubation, for respiratory failure, then had to go to an assisted living center "due to the severity of his injuries."

He and his wife seek costs and punitive damages for excessive force, false arrest, gross negligence, assault and battery and constitutional violations.

They are represented by Gary Honea, of McComb.

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