Lawsuit Alleges 'Brutal Assault' At Hands of Former County Corrections Officer


A "propensity toward violence" shown by a former Cuyahoga County corrections officer is in the public spotlight now, after county resident Lucille Dumas filed a lawsuit alleging a "brutal assault" at the hands of Madeline Chappell.

During the booking process at Euclid City Jail last year, Chappell punched, tackled and pepper-sprayed Dumas, according to the complaint filed today. Dumas had been brought to the jail following a traffic stop.

After tackling and then securing Dumas in a restraint chair during the Jan. 14, 2015, incident, witnesses report that Chappell punched her face three more times — "full-blown strikes," one fellow corrections officer said. Then, according to the complaint, Chappell proceeded to “unnecessarily drench [Dumas] with water in an aggressive manner" and “strike [her] in the face with [a] Tupperware container causing it to break.”

Following those events, Chappell deleted another officer's written report of the incident and "replaced it with a false account of events," according to Dumas' attorneys.

Chappell was later indicted on charges of kidnapping, tampering with records, assault and unlawful restraint. She pleaded guilty. She resigned and agreed not to seek further work in law enforcement.  Chappell, the complaint points out, is white. Dumas is black.

Read the full complaint and subsequent sheriff's department report below.

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