DAYTON, Ohio – A federal lawsuit claims that officers at an Ohio prison beat a homeless veteran so severe that he ended up in a coma for two months and is now wheelchair-bound and mentally disabled.
Joseph William, 59, filed the civil rights case against the Montgomery County commissioners, the sheriff and six employees of the sheriff’s office, the Dayton Daily News reported.
Sheriff Phil Plummer declined to comment on the allegations in the indictment.
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Guglielmo, who served in the air force as an operating room technician and was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, lived in Dayton for the homeless when he was arrested in January 2015 after a disagreement with the care of employees, according to the lawsuit.
Guglielmo was booked in Montgomery County Jail and beat his cell as a sheriff’s office employee tried to call roll. Guglielmo alleges that four corrections officers beat him in his cell, and that two others who were outside did nothing to stop a member of the throw of Guglielmo against a concrete wall.
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The complaint alleges that some officials stood in the way of a surveillance camera so that the beating would not be captured on video.
Two of the suspects later found Guglielmo unresponsive and he was taken to the hospital, the suit said.
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“When people are booked into the Montgomery County Jail, the guard is just supposed to keep them safe, no matter how much they yell, or how disoriented can be the result of a mental illness, officers should not respond with violence,” said Jennifer Branch, one of Guglielmo’s lawyers. “Instead, they should be providing the medical care.”
Documents claim Guglielmo is now not longer take care of herself and currently lives in a nursing home and rehabilitation center.
Records show he pleaded guilty to aggravated menacing. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, credit for two days served and the remainder of the sentence suspended.