Man claims violent prison assault, files suit against Horry County Sheriff's Office

Man claims violent prison assault, files suit against Horry County Sheriff's Office

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A man has filed a lawsuit against the Horry County Sheriff's Office, claiming that he was violently attacked last year by a fellow inmate following his arrest on a contempt of court warrant.

According to the lawsuit, filed Sept. 29, plaintiff John Thomas Clark was arrested by HCSO deputies on July 29, 2016 on an outstanding warrant for contempt of court that stemmed from a civil matter. He was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Another inmate, identified in the lawsuit as Arie Patterson, was said to be "uncooperative" and "combative" during his transport to the jail and booking.

"He (Patterson) pulled away from detention officers, he kicked his flip-flops, he refused to answer questions, he was disrespectful and he generally demonstrated an elevated level of agitation," the lawsuit stated.

Patterson was forcibly put, "against his will," into the same cell as Clark, according to the lawsuit.

"Immediately upon Mr. Patterson being released into the cell against his will, he went directly to plaintiff's location and violently struck plaintiff in the face with his knee," the lawsuit stated.

Clark claims the assault left him with multiple facial fractures that required surgery, including the installation of a metal plate. Additionally, he said he suffered displacement of the eye, facial deformities, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff believes he is entitled to "an award of actual damages in a sum sufficient to fully compensate him for his injuries and losses," the suit stated.

Kelly Brosky, interim public information director for Horry County, said it is county policy not to comment on pending litigation.

A message left for the attorney representing Clark was not immediately returned.

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