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New lawsuit filed against suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill, deputies

From the In Case You Missed It: Top Clayton County Stories from Aug. 30 - Sept. 3 series
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JONESBORO — Suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill and several sheriff’s deputies are facing a lawsuit for the alleged beatings and “life-altering brain damage” suffered by an inmate housed at the Clayton County jail.

On Tuesday, Aug. 21, Los Angeles resident Gabriel Arries filed a civil suit alleging intentional, malicious, and reckless beatings inside the jail carried out by sheriff’s deputies resulted in a traumatic brain injury, left-eye blindness and a broken nose.

In February, Arries was arrested for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor charge, at Hartsfield-Jackson airport and transported to the Clayton County jail.

Upon arrival, a nurse at the jail informed deputies that Arries suffered from bipolar and a mood disorder.

The suit states a nurse and two deputies observed his “thoughts to be disorganized and that he was unaware he was in the state of Georgia. In that state of mind, Gabriel was allegedly combative and shouting racial epithets at the sheriff’s deputies.”

Following a call directing all deputies to the jail’s intake area, the suit alleges three deputies “repeatedly, maliciously, and violently struck Gabriel.”

Arries was then placed in a restraint chair outside of the jail’s infirmary. After four hours in the chair, the suit states that Aries was again beaten and forced back into the restraint chair.

Sometime later, he was placed on suicide watch and housed in a cell with seven violent inmates that led to an alleged fight with another inmate. The suit claims deputies tased Arries causing him to defecate on himself.

Arries was moved to a medical holding cell with “20 open wounds on his face while covered in feces.”

The suit states Arries was found several hours later “unresponsive, making involuntary movements, incontinent, still covered in feces with facial edema and lacerations.”

He was transported to Atlanta Medical Center where he was diagnosed with a “severe traumatic brain injury, subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage and closed fracture of nasal bone.”

The suit claims Hill was negligent in his supervision of deputies and “developed a pattern, policy and custom of unreasonably placing detainees in the restraint chair and permitting the unreasonable and malicious excessive use of force by his deputies.”

In April, Hill was indicted on federal charges of of violating the civil rights of four jail detainees for the use of the restraint chair.

A second lawsuit was filed in July by Mitavion Williams claiming he had been placed in a restraint chair for more than four hours with his hands cuffed behind his back.

The current suit alleges the beatings, indifference to Arries’ medical needs and failure to obtain timely medical care resulted in a “life-altering brain damage” additional personal injuries, physical and emotional pain and “significant medical expenses which he continues to accrue.”

The suit is asking for attorneys’ fees, costs of litigation and compensatory, general and punitive damages.

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