583 F.3d 557 (8th Cir. 2009), 08-2781, Krout v. Goemmer

Docket Nº:08-2781, 08-2815.
Citation:583 F.3d 557
Opinion Judge:COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:Sandy KROUT, individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Bobby Joe Rylee, deceased, and survivors other, Plaintiff/Appellee, v. Lee GOEMMER, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville; Bobby Stevens, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville; Keith Spears, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellvi
Attorney:C. Burt Newell, argued, Hot Springs, AR, for appellants Sawdy, Ketcherside, Johnston, and Hill. Matthew Keith Wren, argued, Little Rock, AR, Robert L. Beard, on the brief, North Little Rock, AR, on the brief, for appellants Goemmer, Stevens, Spears, Cobb, and Winesburg. Charles D. Harrison, argue...
Judge Panel:Before LOKEN, Chief Judge, COLLOTON, Circuit Judge, and ROSENBAUM, [1] District Judge.
Case Date:October 06, 2009
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 557

583 F.3d 557 (8th Cir. 2009)

Sandy KROUT, individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Bobby Joe Rylee, deceased, and survivors other, Plaintiff/Appellee,

v.

Lee GOEMMER, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville; Bobby Stevens, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville; Keith Spears, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville; Terry Cobb, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville; Todd Winesburg, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville, Defendants,

Luke Sawdy, individually, Supervisor of Jail for Pope County; Chris Ketcherside, individually, Correctional Officer for Pope County, Arkansas; Chris Johnston, individually, Correctional Officer for Pope County, Arkansas; Kevin Hill, individually, Correctional Officer for Pope County, Arkansas, Defendants/Appellants.

Sandy Krout, individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Bobby Joe Rylee, deceased, and survivors other, Plaintiff/Appellee,

v.

Lee Goemmer, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville; Bobby Stevens, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville; Keith Spears, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville; Terry Cobb, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville; Todd Winesburg, individually, Police Officer for the City of Russellville, Defendants/Appellants,

Luke Sawdy, individually, Supervisor of Jail for Pope County; Chris Ketcherside, individually, Correctional Officer for Pope County, Arkansas; Chris Johnston, individually, Correctional Officer for Pope County, Arkansas; Kevin Hill, individually, Correctional Officer for Pope County, Arkansas, Defendants.

Nos. 08-2781, 08-2815.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

October 6, 2009

Submitted: April 15, 2009.

Page 558

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 559

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 560

C. Burt Newell, argued, Hot Springs, AR, for appellants Sawdy, Ketcherside, Johnston, and Hill.

Matthew Keith Wren, argued, Little Rock, AR, Robert L. Beard, on the brief, North Little Rock, AR, on the brief, for appellants Goemmer, Stevens, Spears, Cobb, and Winesburg.

Charles D. Harrison, argued, Little Rock, AR, Phillip H. McMath, Little Rock, AR, Richard H. Mays, Heber Springs, AR, on the brief, for appellee.

Before LOKEN, Chief Judge, COLLOTON, Circuit Judge, and ROSENBAUM, 1 District Judge.

COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

Bobby Joe Rylee died after an altercation with police officers in Russellville, Arkansas, and a period of detention in the Pope County Detention Center. Sandy Krout, individually and as administratrix of Rylee's estate, brought an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against five Russellville police officers and four Pope County correctional officers in their individual capacities. She alleged that the police officers used excessive force against Rylee, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and that the correctional officers deprived him of adequate medical care, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The defendants moved for summary judgment based on qualified immunity, and the district court denied the motions. All nine defendants appeal. We dismiss in part for lack of jurisdiction, affirm in part, and reverse in part.

I.

Viewed in the light most favorable to Krout, the relevant facts are as follows. At around 1:20 a.m. on July 15, 2006, in Russellville, Arkansas, Sarah Lowrey walked into a gas station and asked the clerk to call the police. She said that she was driving around in a truck with a man named Bobby Joe Rylee, and that although Rylee had not threatened her, he was agitated, needed sleep, and had a knife. Lowrey returned to the truck and Rylee continued driving. In the meantime, the clerk called 911, and a police dispatcher issued a broadcast to local law enforcement concerning the situation. Lee Goemmer, an officer of the Russellville Police Department (" RPD" ) who was driving nearby, heard the broadcast and observed a truck that matched the dispatcher's description cross the center line. Goemmer signaled for the truck to pull over. Rylee, who was driving the truck,

Page 561

drove into the parking lot of an Exxon gas station, which was adjacent to a Waffle House restaurant. Goemmer followed behind, parked his patrol car, and ran toward Rylee's truck.

As Goemmer approached, Rylee began reversing his truck. Goemmer yelled at him to stop, saying that Rylee was going to back into the patrol car. Rylee eventually stopped, at which point Goemmer instructed him to exit the truck. Rylee did not get out, so Goemmer attempted to arrest him. As Goemmer tried to gain control of Rylee's left hand, a scuffle ensued. Officer Bobby Stevens of the RPD arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and ran toward Rylee and Goemmer, yelling at Rylee to get on the ground. After Goemmer attempted unsuccessfully to pull Rylee out of the truck, Stevens performed a " hip toss" maneuver, causing Rylee, Goemmer, and Stevens to fall to the pavement at the same time. Goemmer and Stevens remained on the ground with Rylee, attempting to gain control of his hands.

After the hip toss, RPD Officer Keith Spears arrived on the scene, followed seconds later by another RPD officer, Terry Cobb. Arkansas Tech security officer Greg McCuin and RPD Officer Todd Winesburg arrived thereafter.

Once Rylee was on the ground and no longer resisting, several patrons and employees of the Waffle House witnessed two officers assault him. Harriet Stone witnessed one officer knee Rylee in the lower back four to six times while he was not moving, and saw another officer punch Rylee five or six times in the mid-back area. Jeff Munhall saw one officer knee Rylee in the back while a second officer punched him in the head area-again while Rylee did not move or resist. At one point, Munhall saw the officer who was kneeing Rylee walk away, only to return moments later and continue kicking and hitting Rylee. Darlene Shoptaw, another Waffle House witness, saw one officer drop down on Rylee three or four times with his knees from a standing position, while the other officer struck him with his fist near the head area. She also saw " several" other police officers standing around, not doing or saying anything to stop the officers who were assaulting Rylee. Like Shoptaw, Crystal Jones saw one officer punch Rylee in the back while a second officer fell on him with his knees from a standing position " at least three or four times." According to Jones, " between six and eight" total officers were there while the knee drops occurred.

The altercation lasted for five minutes. When it ended, Spears and McCuin lifted Rylee under his arms, dragged him to Cobb's patrol car, and placed him in the back seat. While he was dragged, Rylee was totally limp, with his head dangling and his feet not moving. Winesburg opened the rear driver's side door of Cobb's patrol car and pulled Rylee into the vehicle. Cobb then transported Rylee to the Pope County Detention Center.

They arrived at the detention center shortly before 2 a.m. Upon their arrival, Cobb removed Rylee from the patrol car and deposited him face down on the floor of the entryway, also known as the sally port. Cobb left Rylee in the custody of two correctional officers, Chris Ketcherside and Kevin Hill. Hill and Ketcherside offered to lift Rylee up, but Rylee said that he could not stand up, that his back and legs were broken, and that he could not feel his legs. They then picked him up and pulled him into the booking area. As they transported Rylee inside, they noticed a cut on his right eye, a bump on his face, and some blood in his right ear. Neither officer smelled alcohol, but Hill thought Rylee was on drugs.

Page 562

Luke Sawdy, the supervisor for the midnight to 8 a.m. shift, was in the booking area when Rylee was brought inside. Rylee stated that he could not stand up, and that he thought his legs were broken. Sawdy briefly looked at Rylee from ten feet away and thought he was drunk and uncooperative for refusing to stand up. Without asking Rylee any questions or meaningfully examining him, Sawdy instructed Hill and Ketcherside to put Rylee in an isolation cell, and to check on him every fifteen minutes. Hill and Ketcherside took Rylee to the cell, removed his handcuffs, and left him lying on the floor on his stomach. Rylee stated that his back was hurting, but when Ketcherside asked him if he wanted to see a doctor, Rylee said no.

Fifteen minutes later, per Sawdy's orders, Ketcherside returned to the cell to check on Rylee, who was still lying in the same position. Ketcherside asked him how he was feeling, and Rylee responded that he was doing fine. Ketcherside returned fifteen minutes later and again saw Rylee in the same position. Ketcherside asked Rylee if he was feeling better, and Rylee said that his arms were improving.

Ketcherside continued to check on Rylee every fifteen minutes afterward, each time noticing that he was lying in the same position in which he was placed initially-a fact which he relayed to Sawdy.

At approximately 3 a.m., RPD Officer Spears arrived at the detention center to take photographs of Rylee. Spears asked Rylee if he needed any medical treatment or if he wanted to go to the hospital, and Rylee said no. Once Spears finished photographing Rylee, Spears suggested to Sawdy that Rylee be examined by emergency medical services (" EMS" ) personnel, who were located in the same complex as the detention center. At around 4 a.m., Rylee was placed in a wheelchair...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP