Man sues Allegan County after alleged jail assault

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ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. — A man is suing Allegan County and a deputy after he says he suffered a severe beating while at the county jail.

According to documents filed April 22 in federal court, Aaron Henderson alleges that he was kneed in the head, and the impact caused his head to smash against a wall.   He broke several bones in his face.

The deputy named in the complaint, Jacob Keola Kapanui, is the one who allegedly struck Henderson with his knee during the February 2014 incident.

Henderson’s attorney, David Blanchard, claims his client was arrested for disorderly conduct after prescribed medication and other supplements caused him to behave “erratically.”    According to the complaint, Henderson was taken to Allegan General Hospital by police, and requested a family member be brought to the hospital.

After leaving the hospital when no family member was present, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and taken to the jail.   Officers accused him of not complying with their requests quickly enough.  His attorney said he was not resisting.

Officers decided to put Henderson in an isolated cell and ordered him to remove his clothing, according to the complaint.   The alleged assault happened while the officers were trying to remove his clothes.

WARNING: Graphic images

Blanchard alleges in the complaint that Henderson was left in the cell for more than 12 hours without receiving medical treatment.  His eye was swollen shut and several bones in his face were fractured, according to the complaint.

Henderson is suing the county for damages in excess of $75,000.

At one point, Blanchard said Henderson wrote on the jail wall with his own blood to leave traces of his DNA because he “feared for his life.”

According to the complaint, an investigation of the incident was conducted by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, who recommended charges against Kapanui.  However, Blanchard also alleges that the Allegan County Prosecutor’s Office declined to issue charges.

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3 comments

  • Linda

    When are the Police going to stop assaulting people…. maybe after they are sued several times..might make them retrain their officers to refrain from physical assault.

  • Ricky Taylor

    Shame on Allegan County, shame on the Jailers, shame on Allegan County Prosecutor’s Office, shame on Jacob Keola Kapanui! If something happened to any officers/jailers/prosecutors that resulted in severe injury or death, you can bet that I will LAUGH at you all.