Kelly Holleran May 20, 2013, 5:13pm

A St. Clair County Jail prisoner has filed suit against the sheriff, alleging he lost part of his ear after a fellow prisoner bit it and a third flushed it down the toilet.

Roger Harris claims he was a prisoner at St. Clair County Jail on May 11, 2012, for unidentified reasons when he was attacked by two of his fellow detainees.

“Several detainees at the St. Clair County Jail attacked plaintiff, with one detainee biting off a large portion of plaintiff’s ear while another detainee flushed that portion of plaintiff’s ear down the toilet,” the suit filed May 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states.

Because of the incident, Harris suffered severe and permanent physical and psychological injuries, according to the complaint.

He blames St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson for contributing to his injuries, saying he failed to hire and to retain corrections officers that would protect Harris from violence from fellow prisoners, failed to ensure that Harris was protected from physical violence, failed to supervise corrections officers and failed to create policies that would prevent or deter physical assaults by detainees.

In his complaint, Harris is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus attorney’s fees, costs, punitive damages and other relief the court deems just.

Van Lear P. Eckert of The Office of Van Lear P. Eckert in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-228.

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Belleville, IL 62220

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