Former inmate files $69M lawsuit against Suffolk Sheriff's Office claiming he was assaulted by jail officers
A former inmate filed a $69 million lawsuit against the Suffolk Sheriff's Office claiming he was assaulted by correction officers last year.
The allegations about what happened at the Riverhead correctional facility are difficult to listen to, but it is something 39-year-old Wilson Cantarero-Lopez's attorney, Fred Brewington, says needs to be heard.
"Human beings should not be treated this way," Brewington said, describing the horror what Cantarero-Lopez went through as an inmate at the facility in 2022.
According to a lawsuit, Cantarero-Lopez was to be transferred from one cell to another after an incident with another inmate whose cell was next to his. The lawsuit says on March 24, more than a dozen correction officers came to Cantarero-Lopez's cell, allegedly to move him to a new one. But the lawsuit's account of what happened reads in part, "As plaintiff stood facing the wall, he was attacked from behind as both of his feet were grabbed and pulled backward by Defendant Correction Officers causing his head to be violently propelled forward and to the side. A violent assault by defendant correction officers commenced."
"When you are beaten and abused by those persons who are in charge with your well-being, safekeeping and health, you're at their beck and call," Brewington says.
According to the lawsuit, when Cantarero-Lopez called out for help pleading for them to stop, the officers told him to shut the expletive up.
Brewington says his client would need a lifesaving surgery and was forced to wait several hours before they transferred him to a medical facility that could handle his injuries.
"There's a culture in policing, there's a culture in law-enforcement. Generally, that needs to be changed. They are not the determiners of what should happen," Brewington said.
Cantarero-Lopez's ability to work has been taken from him. Part of his job was lifting things and he cannot do that right now.
News 12 Long Island reached out to the Sheriff's department for a comment, and they said they do not comment on ongoing litigation.