Huffpost Crime

Curtis Dressman Beating In Sound-Proof Jail Cell Will 'Probably' Cost Nashville $530,000: Report

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A college student savagely beaten by another jail detainee in a sound-proof Nashville holding cell with a blacked-out window will "probably" receive $530,000, the Tennessean reported. The attacker, caught on surveillance video punching the victim repeatedly, had a violent history and threatened to kill a police officer the night of the assault.

Curtis Dressman, a 23-year-old student at Xavier University in Cincinnati, sued the city and county government for the beating inflicted by his cellmate that left him with severe injuries on April 24, 2010.

According to court papers filed in November 2012, Dressman was visiting Nashville for a concert. He was arrested for alleged mooning and public drunkenness, then placed in a holding cell of the Metro Jail. Several minutes later he was joined by Jaime Lopez, who had been arrested for alleged disorderly conduct and public intoxication. Lopez had resisted arrest, kicked the squad car window and threatened to kill one of the officers, court papers indicated.

Lopez and Dressman were locked in a sound-proof room that had a blacked-out window. Within four minutes of Lopez's entry, video shows him pummeling Dressman with overhand blows, according to the document.

"Plaintiff has suffered traumatic brain injury, dental and facial fractures, cuts, and permanent physical injuries and disfigurement, as a result of the attack," read the filing. "He testified that he has no memory of the evening, beyond going out to bar with his friends."

Metro Nashville's council votes on the $530,000 settlement July 2, the Tennessean wrote. The amount is less than what Metro Nashville might have to fork over if it went to court, a Metro Council attorney told the outlet.

Dressman's attorney, Edmund Schmidt, told The Huffington Post that he preferred to withhold comment until after the July 2 decision. But in an earlier report, he said the jailers should have taken Lopez's aggressive behavior and previous record into account by separating him from other detainees. Lopez, the Tennessean noted, had aggravated assault and reckless endangerment charges on his record. (He later killed himself in custody.)

“He was a ticking time bomb,” Schmidt said in the earlier article, “and a totally innocent man’s life has been irreparably changed.”

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