Man sues Sauget and cop claiming he was beaten at station

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 28, 2009

A man has filed suit against the village of Sauget and one of its police officers after he says the policeman physically attacked and beat him after arresting him.

Bobby G. Wagster Jr. claims he was in the parking lot of the OZ Night Club in Sauget on July 13, 2008, when Sauget police officer Scott Hedgpeth placed Wagster under arrest for a "minor incident" that occurred when a patron got into a verbal argument with Wagster.

After being handcuffed, Wagster was transferred to a section of the Sauget Police Station with no video surveillance where Hedgpeth punched him in his mouth, cut his lip and mouth and stunned Wagster, according to the complaint filed Dec. 15 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

"Defendant Scott Hedgpeth then reached for a long object with his right hand which Plaintiff believed to be a night stick or club and in a manner demonstrating Defendant Scott Hedgpeth intent to beat Plaintiff with the object," the suit states.

To prevent any further beating, Wagster claims he moved defensively, but another police officer grabbed him by the neck.

Wagster attempted to relax his body and to follow the officers' instructions when Hedgpeth used the object in his hand to beat Wagster in the head and face until he lost consciousness, the complaint says.

"When Plaintiff gained consciousness he was laying in a pool of his own blood," the suit states. "Plaintiff rolled over to see Defendant Scott Hedgepeth sitting, when Plaintiff said 'I had enough,' Defendant Scott Hedgpeth said '(Expletive) you punk,' came over and kicked Plaintiff in the face."

After the attack, the Sauget police called an ambulance and Wagster was taken to Kenneth Hall Hospital for treatment to his excessive head injuries, he claims.

Because of the attack, Wagster incurred medical costs, suffered extreme pain and disability, experienced severe and permanent injuries and lost his wage earning capacity, according to the complaint.

In the two-count suit, Wagster is seeking compensatory, exemplary and punitive damages, costs and other relief the court deems just.

He will be represented by Stephen P. McGlynn of McGlynn and McGlynn in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-673.

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