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Lenny Dykstra sues Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office, alleging a jailhouse beating

Apr 3, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

Former Major League baseball player Lenny Dykstra appears in Los Angeles Superior Court for an arraignment in San Fernando, California Reuters

Lenny Dykstra has sued Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office, claiming that deputies beat him in jail:

Dykstra filed the suit seeking unspecified damages against the county and several Sheriff’s Department employees, saying his head was slammed against the wall, his teeth were knocked out and he was kicked and beaten until he was “barely breathing.”

At a hearing in 2012 a sheriff’s spokesman said there had been a fight involving Dykstra and deputies, but that Dykstra was the aggressor and that deputies merely restrained him.

You may have your opinions about Dykstra, and yes, he’s earned the lack of the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the things he claims. But the prison system in this country has equally earned the lack of the benefit of the doubt when it comes to jailhouse violence and the treatment of prisoners. So I feel like it’s a pretty good idea to let this one play out before people claim they know what happened.

  1. henryd3rd - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    What did he expect when he ends up in the joint? And I thought this dude was as tough as nails.

  2. flyinhighwithvick - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    The alleged beating was well deserved.

  3. gothapotamus90210 - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Read Nailed if you want to find out how much of a scumbag he is.

    This article is a pretty good synopsis, too:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/03/24/080324fa_fact_mcgrath?currentPage=all

  4. giantsninerswarriors - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Craig, please don’t tell me that you believe any part of the Los Angeles legal/correctional system has earned any benefit of the doubt, because you are way off base with this one.

    • whatacrocker - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Reading comprehension is not your strong suit, is it?

      • whatacrocker - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        The observation that the penal system in general, or that the LA penal system in particular, is corrupt and abusive is indeed a good one. I live in Los Angeles, so I have a ringside seat.

        However, his actual assertion was that Craig took the side of the LA penal system. That is not “spot on,” the article clearly is critical of both Dykstra AND the penal system. To wit:

        “You may have your opinions about Dykstra, and yes, he’s earned the lack of the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the things he claims. But the prison system in this country has equally earned the lack of the benefit of the doubt when it comes to jailhouse violence and the treatment of prisoners.”

    • spudchukar - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      Nah, he is spot on. Dykstra may well be a scumbag of scumbags, but his penalty for misbehavior is the court’s duty not the prisons. The U.S. penal system is deplorable, and unfortunately only high profile guys’ complaints get the recognition they deserve.

      I too was once incarcerated, and for something I didn’t do. But beatings were common and I had my share. I too sued, and did so as my own attorney, cause suing those who incarcerate isn’t a route to success for those who choose legal representation.

      Guess what, I won and momentarily felt vindicated. However, I was foolish enough to believe lower court matters. The judgement was appealed and summarily dismissed without trial. Typical in American courts I now know.

      I think it was Dostoevsky who said something about a country can best be judged by the manner in which it treats its prisoners. If he is correct then the U.S. should be ashamed. Our penal system is an embarrassment.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        summarily dismissed without trial means to me that they (the entire judicial – law enforcement industry) decided to slip themselves off the hook as soon as they figured no one was looking.

        no doubt they did so with all the usual legalistic artifice they could muster, such obscuring artifice being the means by which they acquire the acquiescence of the rest of us. like the priestly castes of yore, they have built an alice in wonderland world of a too intricate to penetrate by rest of us legalistic theology, requiring large amounts of money and time to navigate, resulting, not coincidentally, in members of our legal caste usually making a very nice living.

        all this is much the fault of the rest of us who fail to call BS BS, and dismiss the accused with a ‘he better not bend over to pick up the soap – ha-ha’ mentality.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM

        Couple that with the fact that U.S. prisons are for-profit entities which try to guarantee profits with concepts like “guaranteed occupancy.”

        Suddenly, the War on Drugs seems even less noble, doesn’t it?

        The power structures in this country are killing us.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        @happytwinsfan It’s understandable that we fail to see their golden temple through the trees, because they continuously use social engineering to prevent us from seeing through the trees.

        It’s a time-honored system used by the ultra-powerful to preserve the status quo. (And these days, they leverage the Internet to control us in ways even our fathers could not have foreseen)

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      What part of that article did you read as Craig siding with the LA correctional system?

  5. historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    This might be one of those symbolic cases where Dykstra wins his suit and is awarded $1 by the jury.

    • spudchukar - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      Well there certainly would be some poetic justice in that, but punitive damages should be directed at those who err to inhibit repeat offenses, so maybe $1 in actual damages and about $1 mil to an organization that helps the wrongfully convicted.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        I don’t think you can do that but it would be nice.

      • spudchukar - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        Yeah, you are probably correct.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 3, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        On the plus side, we no longer publicly torture or maim people. :(

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