Carson City leaders to consider settling man's battery claim

City leaders are expected to decide next week whether to settle out of court a lawsuit filed by a Carson City man in November 2003 claiming malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and excessive force by Carson City deputies during an arrest.

Deputy District Attorney Melanie Bruketta said the Carson City Board of Supervisors will consider, at their April 7 meeting, an offer of $30,000 put forth by Brandon Marino, 20.

In his lawsuit, Marino asked for $50,000 in general damages and an unspecified amount for punitive and special damages and attorneys' fees.

Marino claims jail surveillance tape captured the Feb. 8, 2002, incident in which he was allegedly knocked unconscious by deputies when they slammed his head into a brick wall several times while handcuffed, following his arrest for failure to complete community service on a traffic citation.

Marino said he was 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, the deputies allegedly "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 Sheriff Kenny 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 said his administration reviewed the facts of the case and found the officers' use of force was justified.

In the lawsuit, Marino asked 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 asked 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 re-evaluate and correct protocols concerning use of force.

n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


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