CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A dashboard camera captured three police officers beating a Clarksburg man in 2011, according to a lawsuit claiming excessive force that was filed last week in federal court.
Joy Pumphrey was pulled over near the town of Nutter Fort in Harrison County in October 2011 for having loud exhaust, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg on Tuesday.
Nutter Fort Patrolman J.E. Young and Harrison County sheriff's deputies W.J. Cunningham and C.M. Heater had the man get out of his vehicle for questioning and a search. Pumphrey was "known by the officers to be unarmed," the lawsuit states.
"Suddenly, [Pumphrey] began to flee, on foot, from the officers," the complaint states. He was subdued within a short distance -- "still within the partial view of the dashboard camera."
The lawsuit states that the officers were then able to take the man into custody without resistance. But they began "striking, kicking and punching [Pumphrey] in the face, head and ribs," according to the complaint, which claims the man was not resisting or fighting back.
Pumphrey, according to the suit, was rendered unconscious for a period of time and suffered severe injuries to his face and ribs. He was taken by ambulance to United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, where he was diagnosed with several facial fractures, including his sinuses and nose and several ribs.
"When the defendants repeatedly struck and punched Joy Pumphrey in the face and ribs, no objectively reasonable officers could have perceived Mr. Pumphrey as posing an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others," John Bryan, the man's attorney, wrote in the complaint.