A former Carson City man has filed a lawsuit against the sheriff's department, city and two deputies alleging he was battered by officers when booked into the Carson City jail in February 2002, an incident he says was caught on jail surveillance cameras.
Brandon Marino, 20, claims he was knocked unconscious by deputies when they slammed his head into a brick wall several times while handcuffed.
The lawsuit identifies the deputies as "Collins" and "Maze." Although there are no deputies by those names employed by the department, the names are similar to two deputies who work there, Sheriff Ken Furlong said.
Marino had been picked up on a warrant for failure to complete community service for a traffic citation.
Marino said he was handcuffed and on his knees in the booking area of the jail when he saw deputies spray mace into the face of a female who was coming in to be booked. He said he shouted at officers to stop hurting the woman, then deputies grabbed him and swung him into a wall.
The impact allegedly knocked Marino unconscious. When he came to, both Collins and Maze "jerked plaintiff to his feet by the handcuffs, lifted plaintiff's hands above his head and carried plaintiff to a pre-booking room," according to the court document.
Following the incident, Marino said, he was falsely charged with battery on a police officer. He was held in the jail for a month before the charges were dismissed by the court, according to court documents.
Marino also alleges in the lawsuit when Furlong was told of the incident, "his response was to rationalize and conceal the misconduct from the public," thus relaying to administration that "wanton physical abuse of prisoners is acceptable."
Furlong denies he condones excessive force among his officers.
"The administration did review the facts of the case and found that the officers' use of excessive force was appropriate considering the incident," he said Friday.
Marino also charged the Carson City Sheriff's Department "has a defacto policy of tacitly allowing and encouraging the use of unnecessary physical force against arrestees."
Marino asks for a judgment in excess of $50,000 for his alleged injury, "in mind, body and psyche, thereby suffering and becoming entitled to the aforementioned."
He also asks that an outside agency conduct an investigation and properly discipline the deputies, require Furlong to cooperate fully with an investigation into the violation of Marino's civil rights, revise current department policies for conduct during and after arrests, and reevaluate and correct protocols concerning use of force.