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Inmate files suit against jail


PIKEVILLE – A former Big Sandy Regional Detention Center inmate has filed suit against the jail, alleging the use of excessive force. 

Michael Dewayne Padgett, 27 years old, of Magoffin, filed a pro se complaint on April 11, 2019, demanding for a jury trial.

Padgett is currently serving a three-year sentence at the Kentucky State Penitentiary on a 2017 Johnson County case, in which he was found guilty of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, third-degree assault (of a corrections employee), and two counts of first-degree bail jumping. 

He listed the jail, as well as Michael Copley, Josh Cole, Kenneth “Kenny” Swaffer, James Workman and the Johnson County Sheriff Department as defendants in the complaint. 

Padgett describes six alleged instances involving excessive force. In the first claim, he alleged that on May 9, 2018, for no apparent reason, he was tased three times, causing him physical pain and humiliation, further noting that the electrical shock caused him to have a bowel movement and he was forced to sit in an emergency restraint chair for over two hours in his own feces. He stated that he filed a grievance, but nothing was done.

On another occasion in April or May 2017, he alleged he was pepper sprayed and punched in the face by the same jail deputy from the first claim, also stating he had not provoked the deputy. He said the deputy knocked out his front tooth, then once he had fallen to the ground, the deputy kicked and kneed him in the face, ribs and kidneys until he lost consciousness. He said he was placed in segregation and denied medical treatment. He said he also filed a grievance and the internal affairs officer ruled he had done nothing wrong and the deputy was almost fired.

In his third claim, he said in November 2017 two of the jail lieutenants choked, punched and banged his head off the ground, busting his head and lower lip open. He alleged he was pepper sprayed in the face and placed in the emergency restraint chair without medical treatment. 

The fourth claim, from July 21, 2017, he said another lieutenant used excessive force on him when he pepper sprayed him in the face for talking to him, the punched him in the chest while he was held down by two other jail employees. 

In the fifth claim, he said the BSRDC is a “corrupt and unhealthy jail,” and that the administrator, who was recently fired by the jail board, knew about the repeated assaults and excessive force, but did nothing about it.

The sixth and final claim alleged that the Johnson County Sheriff Department failed to properly train the jail employees. 

As relief, he is asking to be awarded money damages of $250,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $75,000. 

On April 22 the case was transferred to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, having been filed in the Western District.

No court date has been scheduled in the case and as it stands, he is still proceeding pro se, meaning representing himself without an attorney.

Editor's Note: The indictment or charge of a person/entity by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person/entity is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


Heather Oney

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