A former Lancaster County Prison inmate is suing the prison and the county over serious injuries he said he suffered after being tackled by a correctional officer.
Walter Vasquez, 47, was an inmate at the prison in July 2017 for drug related offenses, according to Warden Cheryl Steberger. In his lawsuit he claims a correctional officer tackled him “with such force that it caused serious bodily injuries to Vasquez’s leg, back and face.”
The lawsuit also states that the officer continued to use unreasonable force once Vasquez had fallen to the ground, causing further injury.
Steberger said the incident occurred during the intake process and that Vasquez was seen by the prison’s medical staff as part of that process but did not need to be hospitalized.
Vasquez claims his First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated and is seeking $1.25 million in damages.
County Solicitor Christina Hausner said Wednesday the county had not received notice of the case. The lawsuit was filed Nov. 13, 2018. She declined to comment before having a chance to review the case.
Steberger was likewise unaware of the lawsuit, but upon reviewing an internal evaluation of the incident said she was satisfied with her officer’s actions.
“I’m not concerned with my staff’s actions (in this incident),” she said.
Michael McHale, Vasquez’s attorney, declined to comment.