Public drunkenness arrest leads to lawsuit against Harrisburg officers, Dauphin County corrections officers

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — A public drunkenness arrest last month has led to a lawsuit against Harrisburg Police and two police officers as well as the Dauphin County Judicial Center Central Booking Facility and two corrections officers.

The lawsuit, filed July 18, claims that the plaintiffs above used excessive force against Jarrett Leaman, denied him adequate medical care and violated his constitutional rights.

Leaman was arrested for public drunkenness on June 29 — he was visibly intoxicated and not communicative.

The lawsuit says officers transported Leaman to the county booking center without incident. It was at that point, the defendants allegedly used unnecessary and excessive force when they detained Leaman, which resulted in the plaintiff suffering severe head and facial injuries.

It’s alleged that Leaman, who claims he was not resisting, was pummeled to the cement floor by a corrections officer and then had another corrections officer’s knees pushed into his neck and back for more than two minutes. He was then placed in a correctional roll-in-chair with straps and was allegedly punched, kicked and assaulted until he was in his cell.

The lawsuit adds that a nurse came into the cell, looked at his face which was covered in a spit mask — even though, the lawsuit claims, he wasn’t spitting or resisting — and walked away. Later, a nurse examined Leaman’s eye while he was unconscious.

The next thing Leaman remembers is waking up before 5 a.m. in a cell at Dauphin County Prison.

The lawsuit claims that Leaman saw blood in his cell and in and around the toilet. His face and eyes were swollen, bloody and disfigured, and he was covered in bruises and cuts from head to toe.

Leaman was released sometime before 5:30 a.m. so that he could obtain medical attention. The lawsuit alleges that corrections officers used Leaman’s PayPal account without his authorization. It’s noted that Leaman received a series of test, including X-rays and an MRI, and was informed that he suffered a fractured orbital bone and other medical injuries.

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