United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. Bredar Chief Judge.
Plaintiff DeJesus Collins, a State prisoner incarcerated at
Jessup Correctional Institution in Jessup, Maryland
(“JCI”), filed an unverified Complaint, as
supplemented, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Collins
seeks money damages against Correctional Defendants Warden
Casey Campbell and Officer Kevin Williams for an alleged
assault occurring on January 18, 2018. Collins also seeks
damages against Medical Defendant Ayoku Okentunji, for denial
of medical care following the assault.
pending is an unopposed Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment filed by
Correctional Defendants Campbell and Williams. ECF No.
For the reasons stated below, Defendants' dispositive
motion, construed as a motion for summary judgment,
Plaintiff Collins's Allegations
states that around 11:30 a.m. on January 18, 2018, he was
“slam[med] and beaten in the head” by Defendant
Williams after Williams “forced” him into the
cell. ECF 3, pp. 2, 4-5. He alleges that Williams then wrote
a false notice of infraction against him, claiming Collins
instigated the incident by assaulting prisoner Ryan Howard,
who already was housed in the cell. ECF No. 3, p. 5. Collins
states that although nearly unconscious, he heard Officer
Latasha Barrett telling Williams to “stop you gonna
kill him.” ECF No. 3, p. 6. Collins claims that his
face was bleeding on both sides (ECF No. 3, p. 6), and that
in addition to “Crohns disease, chronic abdominal pain,
[ . . .] traumatic brain injury and lumbar injury” he
suffered in the past (ECF No. 1, p. 1), he now suffers from
“irreparable injury my back, legs, head, stomach,
” cannot “walk at all, ” and has frequent
“ongoing pain...from the assault.” ECF 3, p. 3.
assert the incident occurred on the morning of January 19,
2018. ECF No. 19-2, p. 2, Campbell Memorandum of February 1,
2019. On that day, Williams was assigned to Collins's
housing unit to escort prisoners for any out-of-cell
activity, including cell transfers. ECF No. 19-3, Declaration
of Corporal Kevin Williams, ¶ 3. Collins was scheduled
to be transferred from his cell to disciplinary segregation
within the same housing unit after he refused to accept a
cell mate. Id., ¶ 4. Prior to the transfer,
personnel at the Control Center confirmed with Williams that
Collins was not designated for single-cell placement and
could be housed with another prisoner in disciplinary
Williams and Collins approached the segregation cell where
Ryan Howard already was housed, Collins refused to be
double-celled because Collins needed to sleep on a bottom
bunk. ECF No. 19-2, Use of Force Summary, p. 6. Williams then
stepped into the cell to help Howard move his property to the
top bunk. Id. Once the bottom bunk was clear,
Williams stepped out of the cell. Id. Collins then
stepped into the cell and attacked Howard with his fists.
Id., Notice of Inmate Rule Violation, p. 22. Three
other officers present at the cell as well as Howard provided
written statements that they witnessed Collins attack Howard.
Id., pp. 6, 11, 13, 19.
and two other officers ordered both Collins and Howard to
stop fighting. Id., pp. 6, 11, 13. Howard gave no
resistance once Williams pulled Collins away from him by
grabbing Collins from the waist and taking him to the floor.
ECF No. 19-3, ¶ 6; ECF No. 19-2, pp. 6, 22. Collins
continued to struggle until handcuffed by another officers.
ECF No. 19-2, pp. 22. Both Collins and Howard were escorted
to the medical unit. Id. Video footage of the
incident is attached as ECF No. 19-5; ECF No. 19-2, p.
was treated for two contusions to his head and lacerations to
his upper eyebrow. ECF No. 19-4, p. 2. He told the nurse that
he was “locked in a cell with a cell body [sic] and
because he did not want a cell body [sic] he swung on him and
the officers slammed him on the floor.” Id.
Collins complained of a headache and received Tylenol and a
cold compress, and a follow-up medical visit for further
assessment later in the day was ordered. Id. He was
treated for facial lacerations later the same day.
month following the incident, Collins visited the medical and
psychology units at JCI, receiving two x-rays and other
examinations for complaints regarding injuries received in
the incident as well as follow-up chronic care treatment for
unrelated medical conditions. Id., pp. 5-55.
January 19, 2018, statement provided for the Use of Force
investigation, Williams under oath avers that he did not slam
Collins to the floor or repeatedly hit him on the head.
Id. at ¶¶ 5, 6. Williams also filed, under
oath, a Notice of Inmate Rule Violation charging Collins with
five rule violations: Rule 100 (engaging in disruptive act);
Rule 102 (assault on inmate); Rule 312 (interfering with
officer duty); Rule 400 (disobeying order); and Rule 401
(refusing to accept housing assignment). ECF 19-2, p. 30. At
his hearing, Collins pleaded not guilty and testified that
Howard was not injured, that Collins was never taken to the
medical unit or the hospital, and that Collins was the only
person assaulted. Id., p. 34. The hearing officer
reviewed the Use of Force, Notice of Rule Violation, and
other testimony as credible and found Collins guilty of
violating Rules 100, 102, 400, and 401. Id., p. 35.
Collins received a segregation sentence and good conduct
credits were revoked. Id., p. 36.