More Allegations of Abuse at Craighead County Detention Center

April 28, 2004 -- Posted at 5:49 p.m. CDT, updated April 29 at 7:26 a.m.

JONESBORO -- It was only a few weeks ago that the Craighead County Detention Center came under fire for inmate abuse. Wednesday, another man accuses jailers of putting him in the hospital.

Alonzo Smith is at St. Bernard's Medical Center in Jonesboro after being arrested earlier in the week. Smith was brought to the Craighead County Detention Center last Thursday on charges of failure to appear, and that's when the trouble began. Smith suffers from high blood pressure and ulcers. A family member brought his medication to the jail after he was arrested, but Smith says he never got it.

"I completely passed out and when I came to, I was laid out on the floor on my back. There was a young lady and a man standing up there over me, I guess they were jailers or whatever. The man kicked me on the leg and told me to put my legs down. So I put my legs down and tried to cover myself up somewhat and I passed out again, so I didn't know if I had hit my head on the concrete floor when I fell out of the chair while she was trying to take my blood pressure," said Smith, "So when I came to the second time, I opened my eyes and I was laying in a puddle of my own blood. My ulcer had started to bleed because I didn't have my medication there."
Anemic because of loss of blood, Smith had to have three intravenous fluids after he was transported to St. Bernards.
"They put me in CCU later on in the day, and I had to have two units of blood that Saturday. Later on I had to have another two units because I've lost so much blood, and I nearly died from the incident because they refused to give me my medication," said Smith.
Smith's attorney, Martin Lilly has dealt with the county jail before. He also represents Terry O'Neil, who was beaten by jailers.
"There appears to be some sort of pattern that they're not tending to the needs of these individuals. and I'll be honest with you, I've got several other cases that we're investigating right now," said Lilly.
"I feel like I was taken advantage of, and mistreated, it was something that could have been prevented. My medicine was right there and all they had to do was give it to me," said Smith.
Lilly said, "I don't think, in my opinion, that there are adequately trained personnel at the jail to tend to these people who need this medication."

Sheriff Jack McCann told K8 News he is consulting with the county's attorney, and will have a formal response to Smith's allegations later today.