Rock Island incarcerated man accuses Muscatine County jail guards of using excessive force | muscat


A Rock Island man is suing four prison guards from Muscatine County and the county for allegedly slamming him against a wall in his cell.



MUSCATINE – There has been no word on a Muscatine County motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit against four Muscatine County jail guards accused of using excessive force against an inmate.

According to court records, Thomas D. Overton, 64, of Rock Island, filed a lawsuit in federal court on May 11, 2020 against prison guards Dimitri Wheeler, Claude Dahm, Elijah Heath and Brayton Shalladay. The lawsuit alleges a violation of Overton’s civil rights.

Overton was a federal prisoner held in the Muscatine County Jail from March 13, 2018, pending a federal criminal charge of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, for which Overton is currently serving a sentence of four years.

According to the complaint, on May 22, 2018, Overton was fasting from sunrise to sunset on the occasion of Ramadan. Overton said that when cells are locked, fasting inmates are required to stay outside their cells after the lockdown to get their meals served.

Overton claims that while eating, Wheeler told him he was going “to the hole,” an informal term for solitary confinement. Overton said he told Wheeler he wasn’t doing anything to be written down, went to his cell and locked the door behind him. He said about 10 minutes later, Wheeler came to his cell and again told him he was going to the hole.

Overton claims that Wheeler had moved his cellmate to another cell and that he and three other guards entered the cell. He said Wheeler had rushed over and put him in a wrestling hold and banged his head against the wall, causing him to pass out. Overton says that when he woke up, blood was pouring out of his head, his glasses were broken, and he had pain in his chest.

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