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Smith v. Helder

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division

September 15, 2017

LEON MICHAEL SMITH PLAINTIFF
v.
SHERIFF TFM HELDER; MAJOR RANDALL DENZER; DEPUTY GERADO CERVANTES, ET AL. DEFENDANTS

          OPINION

          P. K. HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Leon Michael Smith, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. He proceeds pro se and has filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis. The case is before the Court for preservice screening under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court has the obligation to screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).

         I. BACKGROUND

         According to the allegations of the complaint (ECF No. 1), Plaintiff was booked into the Washington County Detention Center (WCDC) on July 9, 2017. It is not clear from the Complaint if Plaintiff was in convicted status or pretrial status (ECF No. 1 at 3). He indicates he was in jail on a charge of misdemeanor loitering and contempt of court but then states the date of his conviction or probation or parole revocation was July 9, 2017. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges his constitutional rights were violated in the following ways:

(1) He was denied a blanket from July 9th to July 11th by Deputy Cervantes, Deputy Howerton, and other unnamed guards;
(2) Deputy Cervantes made Plaintiff put a chemical designed only for the hair all over his body resulting in his having a bad chemical burn that required him to get lotion every day from the "med cart;"
(3) Plaintiff was put in handcuffs and escorted to a cell by Deputy Cervantes, Deputy Howerton, and other unnamed officers. Plaintiff was taken to the back wall where there was a large painting of a blade and made to get on his knees directly under the painting. Deputy Cervantes then drew his Taser and put it first to the back of the Plaintiffs head and then to his back. Plaintiff indicates the Taser had a "little red beam light on it." The words "rest in peace Zack missed but never forgotten" were written on the wall. Plaintiff indicates Zack was a friend he used to write to. Plaintiff states he was taken by "surprise" by this. The officers then left Plaintiff in the cell;
(4) The cell did not have an intercom button to push to get the attention of the guards;
(5) Plaintiff did not receive hygiene supplies until the following Sunday, July 16, 2017;
(6) Plaintiff was denied his hour out until July 13, 2017;
(7) Plaintiff had a seizure and had no way to summon help. Finally, an inmate, outside the cell, pushed the button for the Plaintiff and he was taken by unnamed deputies to the nurses' station. He was returned to the same cell where he had no access to an intercom button;
(8) Plaintiff had a panic attack and another seizure and the unnamed guards were slow in responding. Plaintiff alleges he almost died;
(9) Plaintiff was denied his mental health medication;
(10) Plaintiff contends he should have never been housed with inmates in the maximum security pod;
(11) Deputy Tim Taylor opened Plaintiffs cell door before the other inmates in the pod were locked down. As Plaintiff was walking out into the next pod for his hour out, he alleges he was jumped by three inmates causing him physical injuries. Plaintiff alleges Deputy Bookout, Deputy Taylor, Deputy Atchley, Deputy Wingate, and Deputy Minor were slow to break up the fight and did not use their equipment such as pepper spray or Tasers to control the fight; and
(12) After he complained about there being no intercom button, Plaintiff alleges he was put in a "strap down chair" by Deputy Hill, ...

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