An inmate serving 15 years in prison for armed robbery and assault of a peace officer filed a complaint in federal court claiming that correctional officers assaulted him while he was incarcerated at the Williamson County Jail.

Representing himself, Christopher Phelps, imprisoned at Menard in Chester, is seeking $17.5 million in compensatory damages and $13.8 million in punitive damages and attorney fees.

He claims that on June 16, 2006, he jumped in the shower after eating dinner and when he returned to his cell an officer started an argument with him.

Phelps claims the officer opened the cell door, called him a "punk son of a bitch" and then hit him in the face and slammed his arm into the cell door.

He claims the officer that was hitting him hurt his hand which caused another officer to put him into a "rear choke hold" and then was struck in the face several more times and sustaining a broken nose.

Phelps then claims officers started to drag him to an isolation cell and the whole way there were kicking him in the legs and butt.

Phelps alleges he was attacked because he has witnessed the two officers who were assaulting him assault and attack other prisoners at the jail.

He claims the assault caused an arm injury, lacerations to the face and scalp, and bruises and abrasions to the arms, legs, butt, torso and face and head.

Phelps also alleges that after the alleged assault, he was denied medical care for three days after his arm swelled to three times its normal size. He also claims he was in great pain and stress.

The case has been assigned to District Judge G. Patrick Murphy.

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