A man has been awarded a $17,5 million payout after guards attacked him and left him paralyzed.
Seth Fletcher, 21, is now paralyzed after Chillicothe Correctional Institution officers tackled him during a strip search on April 2, 2020.
According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the cops saw Fletcher with a cigarette containing drugs. The incident took place while the officers were escorting him to the segregated housing unit, Unilad reports.
Fletcher suffered a severe spinal cord injury on the spot. The guards then picked him up by the arms and legs, face down, and carried him to the clinic. However, neither they nor the nurse believed the 21-year-old’s complaints of not being able to move.
The Columbus Dispatch reveals the officers even dropped him on the ground several times after the initial injury. When he said he was unable to drink by himself, a guard poured water into his mouth and up his nose.
Acting Capt. Ta-Rance White, who checked up on Fletcher in the early hours, also refused to believe he couldn’t move.
The next morning, psychologist Eric Anderson determined Fletcher was indeed telling the truth. He was then sent to Ohio State Wexner Medical Centre for emergency spinal surgery.
Seth Fletcher will be paid $17.5 million for being paralyzed from the chest down after Chillicothe Correctional Institution guards tackled, handcuffed and dropped him. https://t.co/wHxOpY3Bpf
— Chillicothe Gazette (@ChilliGaz) November 1, 2021
During the investigation, several texts written by Garrett Osbon, an ex-officer who resigned amid Fletcher’s lawsuit, emerged. In one of the messages, the ex-guard says:
“We also water boarded him LMAO. I broke a dudes nose today, yeah this was not reported, there was way too much blood so I mopped it up.”
In another, he continues:
“The dude I broke his nose is now paralyzed with a broken neck, and they say his face looks like he had been dropped and dragged through concrete, LMAO. It feels good to know that I played a small part in paralyzing a cho, LMAO.”
The 21-year-old had been sentenced to two years pandering sexually-oriented material involving minors.
However, his lawyers say the videotape in question had been made with his girlfriend’s consent.
Last year, Fletcher filed a lawsuit against the prison staff. The state prisons department has fired three people following the complaint. They also issued one-day working suspensions to two staff members involved, while seven other officers retired.
April Jacobsen, Fletcher’s mother, said she would use the payout of $17.5 million to adapt her home to be wheelchair accessible for her son who is now paralyzed from the chest down.