Bank Robber Says Sheriff, Others Beat Him
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A Harpers Ferry man doing time for bank robbery is suing Jefferson County Sheriff Bobby Shirley and 14 unidentified law enforcement officers he says beat him severely after a failed heist and vehicle chase in 2010.
Mark Daniel Haines is currently an inmate at Maryland’s Allegheny County Detention Center.
He was sentenced earlier this month to nearly 19 years in prison and three years’ probation after pleading guilty to the Dec. 22, 2010, robbery of a BB&T branch in Martinsburg. Judge John Preston Bailey also ordered Haines to repay $7,528.
Then on May 21, federal prosecutors indicted Haines for attempting to escape from the Eastern Regional Jail, where he was being held while awaiting sentencing. The next day, Haines notified U.S. District Court in Martinsburg of his plans to appeal his sentence.
He filed his civil rights lawsuit Tuesday. It says Shirley repeatedly kicked Haines in the head and stomped on his face while other officers threw him to the ground and against a cruiser, punched him and shocked him with stun guns.
Shirley’s attorneys, Kevin Mills and Shawn McDermott, said in a statement that the sheriff denies the allegations.
“In a contorted attempt to reverse the responsibility for his most recent dangerous actions, this serial bank robber now seeks to blame the Sheriff and other law enforcement officers who caught him when he fled and resisted arrest,” they said.
Authorities suspected Haines of robbing two Maryland banks and one in Martinsburg just days before he attempted to rob the City National in Ranson on Dec. 27, 2010.
Shirley spotted his vehicle in Kearneysville after that attempt. A long pursuit through Jefferson and Berkeley counties ended when officers used spikes to flatten the tires on the stolen truck Haines was driving.
Haines says he ended up in a field, got out with arms raised and offered no resistance. He says he was handcuffed, then pushed over the bed of the pickup and punched.
Haines accuses Shirley of climbing onto the bed and kicking him “with a deliberate and sadistic intention to inflict injury,” then stomping on his face after he was thrown to the ground.
Haines says any of the defendants could have stopped the beating but did nothing.
The lawsuit says he suffered scrapes and bruises on his face and back, a hemorrhage in his right eye, and a broken nose, rib and eye socket.
Haines is demanding unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)