Man alleges Dupo officers beat him twice

Kelly Holleran Jul. 21, 2009, 10:52am

A man who says he suffered a concussion, hearing loss and brain damage at the hands of Dupo police officers during multiple attacks is suing the village's police department, two officers and the village itself.

On July 13, Richard Stricklin filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court against the Village of Dupo Department of Police, the Village of Dupo and Dupo police officers Ryan Corbin and Kevin Smith.

Stricklin claims he was attacked twice by Dupo officers Corbin and Smith – once while visiting Good Times Bar on July 12, 2008, and another time while at the Whistle Stop in Dupo on June 3.

Both times, the officers "forcibly and maliciously hit and battered Mr. Stricklin with their hands, fists, feet and/or flashlights and/or police batons in and about Mr. Stricklin's body," the suit states. During both incidents, police also pushed Stricklin and threw him to the ground, placed him in fear for his safety, sprayed Stricklin multiple times in the face with pepper spray and shocked him with an electro-shock type weapon, all without provocation or cause, the complaint says.

In addition, during the July 12, 2008, incident, officers kicked Stricklin in the head, face, neck, shoulders and back, according to the complaint.

"Such conduct by the defendant's police officers constituted either an intention to harm the plaintiff and/or an utter indifference to or conscious disregard for the plaintiff's safety and welfare," the suit states.

Because of the attacks, Stricklin claims he suffered a concussion, permanent hearing loss, brain damage, physical pain, mental pain, suffering and disability and incurred substantial medical costs.

He blames the Dupo Police Department, the village of Dupo and officers Corbin and Smith for failing to exercise due regard for his safety, for failing to promote appropriate procedures and guidelines that prohibit the use of excessive force, for failing to train its officers to avoid the use of excessive force and for failing to follow the policies and procedures of the police department that prohibit excessive force.

In the 12-count suit, Stricklin is seeking a judgment of more than $600,000, plus other relief the court deems just.

James W. Eason of Eason and Von Leunen in St. Louis will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-374.

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