United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. WALKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Randall Alan Williams, proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 prisoner
civil rights complaint alleging that various defendants
violated his constitutional rights by subjecting him to
excessive force incident to an arrest and by failing to
provide adequate medical care subsequent to the arrest. Doc.
. The Court conducted a screening hearing on October 15,
2015. See Minute Entry (10/15/2015); Doc. [145-1].
There are now several pending motions for summary judgment
filed by the various Defendants. Doc.   
complaint, Plaintiff alleged that on January 26, 2015, while
being pursued by City of Pascagoula police officers, he
“ran a few yards on foot then laid down on the ground
face first and spread out his arms screaming out ‘I
surrender. I give up.'” Doc.  at 6. Officer John
Doe #1 (later identified as Defendant Sergeant Scott Clayton)
flipped the Plaintiff over and started punching him
“repeatedly” in the face while a K-9 Officer
(Rambo) bit him two or three times. Id. Officer
Clayton then flipped Plaintiff back over and began searching
him. Officer Clayton poked himself with a syringe in
Plaintiff's pocket and started screaming obscenities.
Id. Officer John Doe #2 (later identified as
Defendant Sergeant Richard Davis) released Rambo resulting in
14 more bites. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he never
resisted arrest. Id. In an amended complaint,
Plaintiff added as Defendants Pascagoula police officers
Joshua Ghabbour, Lionel Bourgeois, Michael Dunn, and Steven
Loris, whom he alleged were present during the arrest and had
an opportunity to intervene and protect Plaintiff from
excessive force committed by Davis and Clayton. Doc. 
screening hearing, Plaintiff elaborated on the factual
allegations. He testified that on the night of the incident
he was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Christopher Allen
Joiner being pursued by police officers. Doc. [145-1] at 14.
After about a 30-minute car chase, Plaintiff and Joiner
exited the car and ran a “short distance” into
the back yard of a residence. Id. at 15-16.
Plaintiff testified that Joiner was a few feet ahead of him.
Id. at 16. Joiner hit the ground and Rambo was on
him. Id. Plaintiff stated that he saw officers
everywhere, so he laid down on the ground and spread his arms
out. Id. About 30 seconds later, Officer Clayton
rolled Plaintiff over on his back and started punching him in
the face. Id. Officer Clayton rolled him back over
on his stomach. At that time, Plaintiff felt the dog bite him
once or twice. Id. Officer Davis and Officer
Ghabbour then handcuffed Plaintiff. Id. at 16-17.
According to Plaintiff, Officer Ghabbour got pricked by a
needle in Plaintiff's pocket. Id. at 17. Officer
Ghabbour started screaming and backing up off of Plaintiff.
Id. at 17. When Officer Ghabbour started yelling,
Officer Davis released Rambo who started biting Plaintiff
again. Id. Plaintiff testified that Officer Davis
kept releasing Rambo to bite Plaintiff. Id. at 18.
At one point, Officer Davis pulled off Plaintiff's shoe.
Id. Rambo jumped forward and started biting
Plaintiff's foot and toes. Id. After the officer
got the dog off of him, Plaintiff was taken to the police
cruiser for transportation to the Pascagoula Police Station.
Id. at 18-20.
The arresting officers submitted affidavits and police
reports that provide a slightly different account of the
arrest. See Doc. [148-1] [148-3] [148-4] [148-7]
[148-8] [148-9] [148-10] [148-11]. On the evening of January
26, 2015, at approximately 9:00 p.m., officers pursued a
vehicle driven by Joiner following the commission of an armed
home invasion. Plaintiff and Joiner were later charged with
armed robbery relating to the events from January 26, 2017.
Doc. [145-1] at 14. In fact, Plaintiff later pleaded guilty
to charges stemming from the incident. Doc. [146-2] at 1-2.
During the pursuit, Joiner stopped the car and the two fled
on foot into a residential neighborhood. Officer Davis exited
his vehicle and released Rambo, while Officer Davis pursued
on foot. Officers Ghabbour and Clayton also pursued on foot.
Eventually, Rambo caught up to Plaintiff, bit him, and held
onto his lower leg. Officer Davis instructed Plaintiff to get
on the ground multiple times. Plaintiff did not comply.
Instead, Plaintiff's hands moved towards his waist.
Officer Davis then approached Plaintiff and struck him with a
closed fist to his nose and forced him to the ground. When
Officer Ghabbour arrived to assist with the apprehension of
Plaintiff, he saw Plaintiff in a seated position facing him,
unsecured with his hands free. Ghaboour ran into Plaintiff,
knocking his upper body to the ground. Ghabbour and Davis
were then able to get Plaintiff's hands behind his back
and handcuffed. Officer Davis did not immediately command
Rambo to release out of concern for the safety of himself and
the other officers. Once Plaintiff was secured and
handcuffed, Officer Davis commanded Rambo to release. Once
Rambo let go of Plaintiff, Officer Davis pulled Rambo back
and did not release him again. Following a search of
Plaintiff, a handgun was recovered, as well as marijuana and
a syringe. Officer Bourgeois' police report confirmed
that Ghabbour's hand may have been punctured by the
syringe in Plaintiff's pocket.
to the officers' affidavits, Sergeant Clayton never
entered the backyard where Plaintiff was apprehended, was not
part of Plaintiff's apprehension, and had no physical
contact with Plaintiff. Likewise, Officers Dunn and Loris
were involved in the pursuit of the fleeing felons, but
stated that they had no involvement in Plaintiff's
apprehension, which occurred in the back yard. Rather, they
were busy securing Joiner in the front yard, about 15 to 25
feet away, separated from Plaintiff by a four-foot high chain
link fence. Officer Bourgeois did not arrive at the scene
until after Plaintiff and Joiner had been secured and
filed a motion to compel production to the Court of video and
audio recordings that he alleged demonstrate the use of
excessive force during his arrest. Doc. . Out of an
abundance of caution, the Court compelled production of the
recordings. Doc. . The Court received and reviewed the
recordings and finds them to be inconclusive. They depict a
chase, but a fence obstructs the view of the camera. Rambo
can be heard barking and Plaintiff can be heard yelling, but
the audio and video do not provide material summary judgment
evidence on any disputed issue of fact.
complaint, Plaintiff alleged that he was denied medical care
from January 26, 2015, to February 15, 2015, for injuries
sustained during the arrest. Doc.  at 7. Corporal Lamar
Palmer was the intake officer at Jackson County Adult
Detention Center (JCADC) on the night of January
26th. Id. He informed Plaintiff that only
a nurse employed by Health Services, LLC could send Plaintiff
to the hospital. Id. Plaintiff alleged it was
obvious that he needed stitches and treatment. Id.
He further alleged Nurses Kristi Bourn, Jessica Bolen and
Jane Doe #1 (later ...