Wheelchair-bound man claims he was beaten at Brazoria County Jail

December 3, 2012 3:12:43 PM PST
A paralyzed man serving time for a traffic warrant claims jailers crossed the line. He says he was beaten after asking repeatedly to use the bathroom, and now he's suffering from a broken leg.

The man making the claims says it happened in the Brazoria County Jail in Angleton.

Curby Harkless is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. He says back in October, while on the way to the doctor's office, a friend was pulled over. He was arrested on an old traffic warrant that landed him in jail. Now, he claims a request to use the bathroom in the Brazoria County Jail led to a beating that was so bad he had to be hospitalized with a broken femur.

"I was supposed to be going to jail and getting booked in and booked out," Harkless said.

But the 35-year old, who is wheelchair bound and paralyzed from the waist down, says about an hour after he was arrested on a traffic warrant and transported to the Brazoria County Jail, he knocked on a window in the holding facility.

"I use a catheter so I was telling them that I need to use the bathroom. I knocked on the window and they said 'Hey don't knock on that window," Harkless said.

So Harkless says he waited for about two hours and knocked again. That's when he claims a jailer yelled at him, then said...

"He said I got something for you. So he looked back at his other officer and told him to come on," Harkless said.

Then Harkless says the next thing he knew..

"One grabbed this arm, one grabbed that arm and they threw me to the floor," he said. "I was just like gasping for air and they was pushing my legs up, pushing my arms up but I couldn't holler."

That's when he says he heard a noise and felt something in his leg.

"I was like oh, ya'll broke my leg, man. That hurt," he said.

Harkless says he requested medical attention but was ignored and left naked on the floor of the jail cell.

His niece, Terica Little-Jones, says she was in shock when she arrived to pick him up the next day.

"His leg was just like falling over to the side, and normally as a paraplegic, his legs normally sit straight up," Little-Jones said.

She rushed him to the hospital, where medical records show he suffered a broken femur and other bruises.

Eyewitness News called the Brazoria County Jail and asked the chief deputy in charge about the alleged incident. He refused an on-camera interview and first told us he had no knowledge of the allegation.

"If there had been a complaint, there would have been something in the medical department," he said. "I show nothing on his record."

Then after checking again, he told us there was an internal affairs investigation back in October into a complaint about "use of force," but the chief deputy says the medical division couldn't find anything but "some scratches where he scuffled with officers."

Harkless did not face any new charges while in jail. He has hired an attorney and plans to take legal action concerning this incident.

We tried contacting the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office again on Monday, but so far, we've not heard back.


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