Jail inmate sues over broken arm His suit blames corrections officers

April 13, 1993|By Frank Langfitt | Frank Langfitt,Staff Writer

Two correctional officers broke an inmate's arm at a state prison in Jessup because they thought he was too slow to return to his cell after a meal, says a lawsuit filed in Howard County Circuit Court.

Michael Durant claims that two officers threw him on the floor of the Maryland Correctional Institute after a meal one afternoon in October 1990. While trying to handcuff him, they pulled his right arm up behind him at an awkward angle and broke it, according to the suit filed last month.

Durant, who was serving 12 years for possession with intent to distribute narcotics, claims that the officers violated his constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment and denied him due process under the law. He has asked for $3 million in damages.

The officers, William Scott Schulte and Gary Timothy Logan, could not be reached for comment yesterday. The state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services does not comment on pending litigation, said director of public information, Leonard Sipes.

The state police Division of Corrections Investigative Unit conducted an administrative investigation of the complaint in 1991, but is not authorized to release the results, said Detective Stanford Franklin.

The following is an account of the incident, according to the suit:

Durant was released late from a meal one afternoon in 1990. While he was returning to his cell around 4 o'clock, Mr. Logan began cursing him, complaining that he was walking too slowly.

Durant entered his cell, but within two minutes, Mr. Logan had pulled him back out by the arm. Durant asked what he had done wrong. Mr. Logan continued to curse and said, "If you want to play tough, see if you can handle two of us."

Mr. Logan took him to a vestibule. The two guards then threw him to the ground, tried to handcuff him and broke his arm.

Durant was taken to a hospital where a doctor put his arm in a cast. He returned to prison, where he recuperated.

Durant was paroled Feb. 9 of this year and lives in Baltimore, according to corrections records.

It was not clear why Durant waited more than two years to file suit.

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