We recently filed a federal lawsuit against two West Virginia State Police officers for use of excessive force on a man they were interrogating. Our client is Bruce Bird. The defendant officers are Trooper Bass and Trooper Young out of Clay County, West Virginia.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail recently published a story on the case:
The lawsuit alleges Bird, 30, was subjected to excessive force by the troopers and that the troopers withheld medical treatment to Bird, whose spleen was ruptured as a result of the alleged beating. Bird is represented by Monroe County lawyer John Bryan.
Bird was arrested, his lawsuit states, without incident on Feb. 13, 2015, and charged with robbing two gas stations. He was taken the State Police detachment in Big Otter and led to an interrogation room by Young and Bass.
As Bird was escorted to the chair he was to sit in, Bass, who was behind him, allegedly told him, “you know what we want you to say … the first word that you say that we don’t like, I’m cracking you in the ear,” the complaint filed Feb. 9 in federal court in Charleston states.
Bird’s complaint states that he wanted to say, “I don’t [expletive] know nothing,” but as he began to say the expletive, Young and Bass allegedly began beating him.
“The defendants were punching [Bird] with their fists, kicking him, stomping him,” the complaint states. “The officers struck him mostly in the back of the head and the ribs.”
. . .
After more alleged kicking and hitting, Bird said, “alright, alright, I’ll do whatever you want me to do, just quit kicking me,” his lawsuit claims. “I think you done broke my ribs anyway,” he said, according to the complaint.
“No, I know when ribs break,” Young allegedly responded. Young then “delivered one final blow which seriously injured [Bird].”
. . .
The medical unit at the jail immediately sent Bird to Braxton Community Hospital. While there, he passed out on the floor and was taken by helicopter to Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital.
At CAMC, doctors told Bird his spleen had ruptured and that he might not live another hour without emergency surgery, according to the lawsuit.
Bird told the nurses, his lawsuit alleges, that “if I die, I want you to write this down, it was state trooper Young and state trooper Bass who did this to me. I want this out there so it doesn’t happen to somebody else.”