Inmate files lawsuit over injured pinkie

LISBON — Antuan Parker, a former inmate at the Columbiana County Jail, has filed a lawsuit in county Common Pleas Court against the warden and a corrections officer, claiming permanent damage to his pinky finger.

The civil lawsuit filed this week claims on Jan. 18, 2018, a guard at the jail, George Masecalic, was collecting the food tray from Parker’s cell and Parker asked for some water because the water fountain in his cell was not working.

Parker claims he attempted to walk past Masecalic, who pushed him causing him to fall backwards. Parker states he grabbed the door frame to prevent himself from falling and Masecalic slammed the metal door on his right hand.

Claiming Masecalic acted maliciously and sadistically, causing him physical harm, Parker said he notified Warden Mike Curley and other staff members. He was treated by a nurse at the county jail, who told him the finger may have been broken. She taped his finger with two wooden popsicle sticks and gave him some pills for the pain, then sent him back to his cell.

According to the lawsuit, Parker complained he was not taken for X-rays and medical treatment at a hospital and continued to be in pain. He was finally taken to Salem Regional Medical Center on Feb. 5, 2018 where it was X-rayed. He was taken back to the same hospital for additional treatment on five additional occasions between then and July 9.

The lawsuit claims cruel and unusual punishment, brutality, use of excessive force and medical negligence by the staff at the jail. Parker is seeking in excess of $25,000 for permanent injuries to his finger.

“If I recall correctly. the inmate tried to push his way out of his cell,” Curley said when asked about the lawsuit. “When he tried to push his way out after being told not to, the officer shut the to cell door to keep him in.”

Curley described Parker’s claim as an accident.

Parker, 41, of Warren, is currently at the Erie Correctional Institution in Conneaut serving an 18-month prison sentence for tampering with evidence in an investigation of an assault that occurred in the county jail and a four-year prison sentence for several drug-related offenses. Those charges were pending at the time of his injury.