LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - WAVE 3 has obtained pictures of the injuries allegedly caused by a Louisville Metro police officer who hit a man in the head with his flashlight during an arrest. We also spoke with the suspect's attorney to get his version of events.
The blow to the head with a flashlight at the hands of Louisville Metro Police Officer James W. Conley left 22-year-old Zackery Hoagland with a gash to his ear. Rick Hessig, Hoagland's attorney, said the wound will require plastic surgery. Hessig said Hoagland also suffered hearing loss and that the full extent of his injuries still aren't known.
According to Hessig, a verbal altercation between Hoagland and another group of men at Fourth Street Live! may have drawn the attention of Officer Conley and his partner, but Hessig claims Hoagland did not provoke police.
"My client did nothing," Hessig said. "You saw the video. I don't think there was any reason for my client to be hit in the head with a flashlight like he was hit."
The incident happened in the early morning of Sunday, September 11. Hoagland was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, menacing and resisting arrest. I also uncovered that it is not Hoagland's first brush with the law. Corrections records show that since 2009 Hoagland has faced charges for domestic violence, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, public intoxication and resisting arrest.
WAVE 3 has asked LMPD to give us Officer Conley's version of events, including what happened before the camera started rolling that may have set him off. LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell declined citing the open internal investigation.
Hessig said a lawsuit against the department remains a possibility.
"I have the utmost respect from most of the officers," said Hessig. "And in this case we are doing own investigation to find out what prompted the officer to take the action he took."
Mitchell said Conley, a member of the force for 22 months, has been placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.