Former Harrison Co. detainee files suit claiming he was attacked at jail

A former Long Beach resident has filed a

federal civil rights lawsuit, saying he was abused by a Harrison

County jail booking officer who is now serving a life sentence.

John Aaron Vanderburg claims in the lawsuit that he was

body-slammed, choked and cuffed to a toilet for several hours by an

officer he believed to be Ryan Teel. The 41-year-old says the

attack came in 2005 after he tried to stop officers from hurting a

woman who also was being held at the jail.

Teel is serving a life sentence after he was convicted of an

inmate's murder and conspiracy to deprive inmates' civil rights at

the jail.

Vanderburg, who has since moved to Pensacola, Fla., claims he

tried to stop Teel and another officer when they allegedly choked

the woman and slammed her face against the floor while putting her

in a restraint jacket.

Vanderburg has asked for a jury trial and is seeking unspecified


Others named in the suit are the Harrison County Board of

Supervisors, former Sheriff George H. Payne Jr., former Maj. Wayne

Payne, former Warden Diane Gatson-Riley, former Capt. Rick Gaston,

former Capt. Steve Campbell, Comptroller Robert Parker, the

American Corrections Association, James A. Gondles Jr. of the ACA,

and Health Assurance LLC.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday.

Vanderburg was booked in the jail May 26, 2005, on misdemeanor


He said he arrived with a previous knee injury and left the jail

with serious injuries inflicted in violation of his civil rights.

The lawsuit says the alleged beating came after he saw two

officers put duct tape on the female detainee's mouth to silence

her screams.

Then, the lawsuit states, the officer believed to be Teel

dragged him to a cell, cuffed him to a toilet and said, "Welcome

to the Harrison County House of Pain/Payne."