LAFAYETTE — The Lafayette Parish man hospitalized following his April arrest has filed a federal lawsuit targeting Sheriff Mike Neustrom and the four former deputies who allegedly beat the 41-year-old.
Jason Brungardt, of Lafayette, claims the former deputies who worked as jailers in the parish Correctional Center punched, kicked and pepper-sprayed him while he lay defenseless on the floor of an isolation cell.
“While Jason Brungardt lay limp in agonizing pain and without offering any resistance, Lafayette Parish sheriff’s deputies began to roll him over on his back and continued to strike him,” Brungardt’s attorney Clayton Burgess wrote in a complaint filed Monday.
“The attack was maliciously and sadistically carried out and continued even though Jason Brungardt did not offer any resistance,” the suit states.
Brungardt sustained four fractured ribs and a punctured lung in the beating, and remained hospitalized for three days, the lawsuit states.
The former deputies accused in the beating — Brandon Gallien, Michael McSheffrey, Scala Celestine and Adrian Theriot — were fired April 28, three weeks after the April 7 incident.
All four were arrested in June on counts of second-degree battery and malfeasance in office. They have not been formally charged by the 15th District Attorney’s Office, according to court records.
The suit alleges Neustrom neglected to adequately supervise deputies in his employ, failed to investigate reports of abuse by deputies and has not done anything to change a “code of silence” that keeps other deputies from reporting abuse.
Brungardt is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from Neustrom and the former deputies.
Sheriff’s Capt. Craig Stansbury said it is the agency’s policy to not comment on court matters under litigation.
Brungardt was arrested April 7 and put into the parish jail for allegedly beating a woman and using a knife to disfigure her, according to court records.
In June, the District Attorney’s Office charged Brungardt with second-degree battery and aggravated assault.
The court filing also alleges Brungardt intentionally inflicted injuries to himself while he was a prisoner in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.
Brungardt is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 28.