A woman who said she was assaulted by guards at the Pima County jail is suing the Pima County Sheriff’s Department for more than $1 million in damages, court records show.
Irene Guzman filed a preliminary claim in Pima County Superior Court on Aug. 24, saying the department and Sheriff Chris Nanos acted negligently in the hiring, training and supervising of the three female guards she says attacked her.
On March 5, Guzman was booked into the jail on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia, both of which were not referred to the county for prosecution, according to court records.
While she was being booked, Guzman was forced to strip and when she resisted, the three guards grabbed her hair, slammed her head into the wall, punched her and used “grossly excessive force,” says the claim.
Guzman says she’s suffered reduced vision in her left eye and suffers from headaches, the claim says. A physician who is treating Guzman also told her she may lose all vision in her eye.
“The assault was captured on video, but the officers deliberately placed Ms. Guzman against the wall directly under the camera, so that most of their acts of brutality could not been seen, proving that they planned the assault and knew their conduct was illegal, Guzman’s attorney, James Wadleigh, wrote in the claim.
Guzman is asking for $300,000 in compensatory damages from Nanos and Pima County, and $300,000 from each of the guards, totaling $1.2 million.
The Pima County Attorney’s Office does not comment on pending civil cases, said Chief Deputy Attorney Amelia Cramer.