CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A settlement was reached Thursday in a police brutality lawsuit filed last year in federal court against a former Parkersburg police officer.
Jerry Seabolt said in the lawsuit that an unwritten wink-and-nod policy that Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell allegedly announced during a department meeting several years ago caused an officer to assault him while he was detained on public-intoxication charges in 2011.
The lawsuit alleged Newell's policy called for police to beat dissenting suspects.
Seabolt will be awarded $135,000, according to the settlement, said his attorney, John Bryan.
On Oct. 15, 2011, four officers approached and arrested Seabolt after receiving complaints that he was drunk outside of a Parkersburg Dollar General store, according to the lawsuit.
"The defendant had glassy, bloodshot eyes and an odor of an alcoholic beverage," Bryan writes in the lawsuit, citing the original criminal complaint filed in Wood County Magistrate Court. "While talking with the defendant under arrest, he became aggressive towards officers and had to be forcibly handcuffed."
After Seabolt was cuffed, three officers slammed his head into the hood of a police cruiser as the supervisor stood by and watched, the lawsuit states.
While detained in the Wood County holding center, Seabolt allegedly assumed a fighting stance toward the officers.
At that point, Sgt. Joshua A. Vensel struck Seabolt with a closed fist to the head, according to the original criminal complaint, signed by Patrolman B.J. Depue.
Surveillance cameras captured the punch, according to the lawsuit. Seabolt was immediately rendered unconscious.