The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

December 17, 2012

Several Fayette deputies named in complaint

A complaint was filed Thursday with U.S. District Court in Charleston against several Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies, alleging excessive force against the plaintiff, a mentally and physically disabled man.

Nicholas D. Hall, Robert V. Neal, James K. Sizemore, Dana C. Wysong and the Fayette County Commission are named as the defendants.

The complaint was filed for Matthew Cole, by his mother, Patricia Cole, and it states Matthew suffered a traumatic brain injury in a vehicle accident in 1993, leaving him in a coma for 18 days and hospitalized for four months.

He was in another vehicle accident in 2006 where he suffered further head trauma. Cole is now permanently disabled, both mentally and physically, and suffers from post-traumatic seizures.

The complaint states that on Dec. 14, 2010, Cole was visiting his cousin, Jesse Pike, who has since passed away. During his visit, Pike and his significant other began a domestic dispute. The suit says she called law enforcement and reported, apparently falsely, that she had been shot in the face with a hand gun by Pike.

Before police arrived, Pike took Cole outside of the residence with him and instructed him to hide. Cole did as he was told and he alleges he was not involved in the domestic altercation.

Deputies Hall, Neal, Wysong and Capt. Sizemore arrived at the residence and discovered Pike and Cole hiding in the driveway. They detained Cole and Pike, seized Pike’s handgun from beneath a nearby parked car and placed Pike under arrest.

The complaint alleges that at some point prior to, or during the detainment of Cole, the defendants struck him in the face, head, legs and chest, although he was not resisting or assaulting the deputies.

At some point, Wysong recognized Cole and informed the other deputies Cole is disabled.

Wysong then took Cole to his mother’s home and dropped him off in the driveway.

The complaint additionally states Wysong did not speak with Cole’s mother, nor did he ensure that Cole was able to get inside his home.

Patricia Cole opened the door for Matthew and immediately observed physical injuries and called 911. She took photographs of the injuries on his face, head and legs.

While speaking with the 911 operator, Patricia requested that the deputy she saw return to speak with her about what happened. The operator allegedly refused to send a deputy and refused to give her the name of the deputy who transported her son, the complaint says.

Matthew was taken by ambulance to Summersville Regional Medical Center emergency room where he was treated for injuries to his head, legs and chest.

He was never charged with a criminal violation, nor was he taken into custody other than being seized at the scene and taken to his mother’s home.

The complaint said since Cole’s injuries on Dec. 14, 2010, he began having seizures again and has suffered from severe anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.

The plaintiffs are demanding a trial by jury, requesting the court award damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, as well as other damages.

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