Family of suspect accuses Jefferson County deputies of brutality -

Family of suspect accuses Jefferson County deputies of brutality

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

( -- A suspect in the Jefferson County Jail has a black eye, cuts and a swollen face.

His friends and family claim Terry Stark is a victim of police brutality.

The Sheriff’s Department refutes that claim, saying Stark has a history of assaulting police officers and he got his injuries from fighting with the arresting officers, two of whom are now off duty because of their injuries.

Sheriff’s officials say it all started when a deputy went to Stark’s place to investigate a theft.

“He was there to investigate this theft of this pipe and obviously when you see this pipe and he’s hurriedly trying to ratchet this pipe down it raised the deputy’s suspicion also,” said Captain Ralph Brown.

Officials said the deputy knew Stark had a record for resisting arrest, so he went to handcuff him for his safety and tried to remove a knife on Stark’s belt.

“The individual allegedly turned, struck the officer, but the officer was able to throw the knife clear of where they were located,” Brown said.

Sheriff’s officials say Stark fought with the deputy and tried to take the deputy’s gun. Reportedly the deputy punched him to stop him. They say Stark continued to fight when more officers arrived, so they had to hold Stark down to handcuff him.

Stark’s friends and family say police went overboard in their attempts to subdue stark and his mug shot is proof.

While the shot shows a black eye and several cuts and bruises, officers say it was a result of his struggle.

“Any time you’re coming in contact with rough ground- and it was a rural area- in the thicket face down he’s thrashing around. Obviously you’re going to get cuts and bruises,” said Brown.  

News 4 spoke with Stark’s wife by phone and she referred us to their attorney who said he was unable to speak about the situation until after Stark is released.

Currently he’s being held on bond until a hearing on February 3.

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