Benton man claims he was beaten in County Jail
(KATV) A Benton man who spent five days in the county jail says he was beaten, put in solitary confinement and not given his medication. The family is now planning to sue the sheriff's office.
Darren Watts says when his wife picked him up from the Saline County jail Wednesday; she was shocked at his appearance. She took him to the hospital to get fluids and then to make a police report.
Charles "Darren" Watts says, "This is not right. I could not stay back and not say something. This is what is right."
Darren Watts says a $150 fine for an unpaid traffic violation turned into a nightmare when a warrant was issued for his arrested and he was booked early Friday morning. "Form the time I started asking for my medication, it was apparent they were not going to give it to me. That is why I got so irate. When I did get irate, that is when the abuse started."
Lt. Scott Courtney shows Channel Seven the video of the moment in question. "He is balling up his fist, bladed stance."
In the video, you can see Watts in the holding cell. He admits, he is screaming, begging for his "mental medication" to calm him down. He says he is in a cell, not in a position that a deputy should fell threatened.
Lt. Courtney points to the video, "They are telling him calm down, sit down, if you don't sit down we are going to tase you." He continues, "Fist are still clinched, and he gets tased."
Watts claims he was tasered more than the one time you see. "They took me to the ground and they tased me in the back I believe twice. I have two marks on my back."
In the video, Watts is picked up off the ground, hand cuffed and placed in a chair with restraints. "They strapped me all kinds of ways, constantly cursing me the whole time. I mean they cussed me like a dog."
Lt. Courtney adds, "Anytime we get a complaint on a possible excessive force, a review is always done. If it looks like excessive force might have been used, then an internal investigation is done. So far the review on this, it does not appear that there was any excessive force used. It is still being reviewed. Like I said, I didn't find out about it until today (August 15)."
Watts says what we don't see is four jailers beating him and leaving him in isolation for three days. "I have bruises all over my back side, my back, my legs, stomped my feet. I was guilty of a traffic violation but they shouldn't have beat me the way they did and kept me from my family."
Watts was allowed to take his medication several days later. Lt. Courtney says it's protocol to verify it with the inmate's doctor.
The family has hired an attorney and Benton police took pictures of the bruises.