The wife of an inmate beaten to death by guards at a state prison in Fishkill in April during an incident that is the subject of a criminal investigation, filed suit against the state, guards and prison officials on Wednesday in federal court in White Plains.
Diane Harrell, wife of Samuel D. Harrell, said in the lawsuit that her husband was bipolar and delusional, became convinced that he was about to leave prison and go home, and was savagely assaulted by a crew of guards known as the "Beat Up Squad."
Harrell, 30, was serving time on a drug charge, and was housed in a mental health unit at Fishkill Correctional Facility. The complaint said he was repeatedly kicked and stomped while handcuffed, cursed with racial epithets, and thrown down a flight of stairs after the April 21 beating.
Local prosecutors are investigating the death, and Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issued a statement last month saying that he was monitoring the case. A spokesman for the state correction department declined to comment Wednesday.