Chesy official claims civil rights violation

Published 9:51 am Thursday, April 21, 2011

CHESAPEAKE — A Chesapeake village councilman claims his civil rights were violated following his arrest Sunday and is filing a complaint with the FBI.

William Scott Taylor said he plans to send a statement outlining his complaints to the Cincinnati division of the FBI agency naming Chesapeake Village Police Chief Dennis Gibson and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office including Sgt. Steve Cartmell as those who violated his rights.

At 8:25 p.m. Sunday, sheriff’s deputies went to the Chesapeake home of Taylor after Gibson asked for their assistance, according to a sheriff’s report.

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Three neighbors had made complaints about the alleged actions of Taylor that included speaking multiple obscenities, threatening to kick pets and making an obscene gesture, the report said.

When the deputies arrived at Taylor’s home, the councilman said “he wasn’t going anywhere,” Cartmell’s report said. “Scott became very belligerent with me and turned and went towards Chief Gibson in an aggressive manner. …(Taylor) advised he hadn’t done anything wrong and then went back towards Chief Gibson and said, ‘You are done. You are gone.’ He advised he was a village council member of Chesapeake and to let him go.”

Taylor then allegedly tried to tear down his porch light and began screaming.

“He went limp and fell to the ground screaming I was killing him,” according to Cartmell’s statement. “He then took his hands and was trying to push himself off the porch screaming that I was shoving him off. I told him I was holding him from falling. …. As I was trying to handcuff him, he tensed his arms up and began to roll back and forth and kicked his prosthetic leg off.”

Cartmell then stated he tried to help Taylor re-attach his leg.

“I tried to pick him up and he would lean his body back up and scream that I was hurting him,” Cartmell said.

He was then carried to the sheriff’s patrol car and later to the jail. There Taylor was charged with disorderly conduct, menacing, criminal trespassing and resisting arrest.

Taylor denies that he hadever threatened his neighbors.

“Absolutely not,” the councilman said.

On the resisting arrest charge, he said it was self defense.

“When they threw me to the ground and my prosthetic leg came off and I was screaming in pain,” Taylor said. “Absolutely when I was trying to defend myself. They were beating the hell out of me. You need to see what I look like, my bruises, my hands, my wrists, my back. I am covered with bruises and lacerations.”

Sheriff Jeff Lawless said he supports the actions of his deputies.

“When the officers attempted to arrest him, he became uncooperative and combative,” Lawless said. “The minimal amount of force was used to effect the result. We do have witnesses. In fact, his wife is a witness to what occurred. I feel confident my officers acted appropriately in this arrest. Mr. Taylor was given every opportunity to cooperate. He refused to cooperate using his position as a way to not cooperate.

“I welcome the FBI to come in and look at this situation because it will exonerate this office as well as help our case against Mr. Taylor. We certainly didn’t do anything wrong.”

Taylor was arraigned in Lawrence County Municipal Court Monday and has a pretrial on April 25. He is represented by a public defender.