A relative of a Long Beach man who was strangled during a fight with an inmate in a locked cell at the Nassau County jail two years ago is suing the county and the East Meadow correctional facility, seeking $10 million.
Shakeria Little's federal lawsuit, filed earlier this month, claims her brother, Antwan Brown, 26, "was trapped in his cell as he was beaten to death" on Jan. 7, 2012, and that correctional officers on duty "were aware of the attack, but failed to intervene and protect Mr. Brown."
A Brooklyn man, Charles Creekmur, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the incident and is due back in court Friday.
Creekmur's attorney, Joseph Lo Piccolo of Garden City, told Newsday last March his client was the one who was attacked by as many as three inmates and that Creekmur acted in self-defense. Lo Piccolo could not be reached for comment.
Officials at the offices of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Sheriff Michael Sposato could not be reached for comment.
Little, who is represented by Hempstead attorney Frederick Brewington, said in the lawsuit that Brown and Creekmur exchanged words while on a handball court at the jail that day, during which Creekmur, the lawsuit said, threatened to kill Brown.
"Later that day, upon information and belief Mr. Brown retired to his cell, as was his obligation to do so," the lawsuit said. "Charles Creekmur vehemently pursued Mr. Brown into the cell and brutally attacked Mr. Brown at the time of the closure of the cell or soon thereafter, killing him."
The lawsuit, which refers to Creekmur by the nickname "Beast," charges that the correctional officers did not intervene in time to save Brown.
"Sufficient time was allowed to pass from the time Charles Creekmur entered to when . . . [the correctional officers] entered Mr. Brown's cell to remove Charles Creekmur for Mr. Brown to be brutally murdered," it continued.
Brown endured extensive injuries, according to an autopsy report cited in the lawsuit. It said he "suffered abrasions and contusions to the face, scalp, left arm, right knee and both wrists, blunt force trauma to the body, hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage fracture, laceration to the forehead and a bite on the left upper back."
Brewington said the facts he has collected show the officers were neglectful.
"It's pretty clear that they had sufficient information to have provided this gentleman with some level of protection," Brewington said.
"Instead, they left him to be a victim at the hands of this person that everybody called 'Beast.' "
Creekmur was in the facility on attempted robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon charges stemming from a holdup attempt on July 12, 2011.
Nassau police said he had tried to rob his former employer at Jerusalem Pizza in Cedarhurst armed with a BB gun and while wearing a ski mask.
Brown had been incarcerated following a 2010 assault in which he was accused of beating a woman and trying to steal her bag in West Hempstead. He injured a police officer at the Fifth Precinct while under arrest, police said.
Just days before the incident, Brown pleaded guilty to attempted assault on a police officer in that case and the other charges were covered by that plea, according to court records.
CORRECTION: Antwan Brown's name was incorrect in one reference in an earlier version of this story.