Charles Hollis Jr. of Granite City claims Caseyville police officer Steve Epps violated his constitutional rights and beat him when he was arrested near Cahokia on May 14, 2004.

In a suit filed May 12 in St. Clair County Court, Hollis blames Epps and the city of Caseyville for severe and permanent injuries to his head, brain, face and nervous system.

Represented by William D. Stiehl, Jr. of Belleville, Hollis is seeking at least $100,000 in damages for his alleged injuries.

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), Hollis has been charged in the past with impersonating a police officer, obstruction of justice, multiple counts of fraud and theft, armed robbery and aggravated fleeing from police.

The complaint claims that Epps pulled Hollis over on I-255 near Route 3 near Cahokia without cause.

"Following police orders, (Hollis) turned off his car and exited his vehicle in order to lay face down on the ground," the suit states.

“Epps, acting under color of State law arrested plaintiff and without cause or provocation, acted in an unreasonable manner by beating Hollis with a flashlight and punching him in the head.”

In the suit, Hollis claims his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment guaranteed under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution was violated.

Hollis also claims Epps deprived him of the right to be free of physical harm and to be free of the deprivation of his liberty without due process of law as guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

According to the IDOC website, Hollis was paroled on May 10 from the Lawrence Correctional Center.

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