Lambertville man suing Lucas County Sheriff's Dept.

By Lisa Rantala - bio | email

Posted by LS - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - Members of the Lucas County Sheriff's Office are facing a $15 million lawsuit.

That's after a Lambertville, Michigan man claims they beat him while booking him. It was all caught on surveillance video.

His attorney, Scott Ciolek,  shows us the video involving his client, Michael Mingione, at the Lucas County jail back in 2007.

You can hear Mingione tell officers he has a heart condition and that he just had heart surgery. You can see he tried to take out his list of medications from his pocket. Ciolek tells us, "His doctor told him you need to take these drugs. You need to take the prescriptions that I'm giving you or you could die."

Around this time, Corrections Officer Joseph Navarre forced Mingione to the counter. Corrections Officer Chris Honisko pounded Mingione's head on the counter twice. At the time, the incident was investigated by internal affairs.

Navarre told investigators Mingione was loud and disruptive. He says Mingione turned in an aggressive manner and ordered him not to touch Mingione.

Ciolek said, "I think the video speaks for itself. I think you can see he wasn't being loud."

As for Honisko, he told investigators that he held Mingione's head down in an effort once again to prevent any injury or spitting. Ciolek said, "The majority of the people that they book do not get bent over the counter with their head smashed in to prevent spitting."

Ciolek also says what really concerns him is what happened off camera. He says you can hear officers joke about Mingione complaining about his artery. You can hear one saying he saw other officers beat Mingione's head into the wall in the next room.