Former inmate sues Richland County over ear biting attack

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Published: Dec. 26, 2022 at 3:27 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A former Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center inmate is suing Richland County after another inmate bit part of his ear off.

Attorneys for Tyris Glover have filed a lawsuit alleging the county failed to protect Glover when former inmate Jostin Lucas was placed in Glover’s dorm on Jan. 10, 2021.

The lawsuit alleges Lucas “began to display aggressive tendencies forecasting an attack on other inmates in the dorm.”

It alleges Lucas bit off part of Glover’s ear and the ear was not saved.

The lawsuit alleges the county was negligent in failing to protect Glover and for “not promptly delivering him to proper medical service in the absence of slight care.”

Richland County court records show law enforcement arrested Lucas for the incident on Feb. 11, 2021 and he pled guilty to 1st degree assault and battery this August.

Lucas and Glover are no longer held in the jail. Lucas is not a party to the lawsuit.

Lucas’ attorney in the criminal case, Connie Breeden, declined to comment.

Luke Shealey is on Glover’s legal team and argues the county failed in its duty when Glover was incarcerated.

“When you’re in the jail, whether you’re right or wrong, good or bad, you’re innocent until proven guilty. That jail has a duty of care to you. To keep you safe, to keep you fed, to keep you healthy,” he said.

WIS asked Shealey about what justice looks like for Glover. He said part of the goal is to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.

“We as a society have to think about where we put our priorities. If we’re going to choose to incarcerate somebody, who’s presumed innocent until proven guilty, then we have to make ensure their safety, that they make it to their day in court. Otherwise we’re just living in an unjust world.”

The county has not filed a legal response and a county spokesperson told WIS the county does not comment on ongoing litigation.

Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center has come under intense scrutiny in recent years for its security, staffing and conditions.

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On Dec. 6, Richland County Administrator Leonardo Brown gave updates on the jail to the county council.

Citing recruitment and retention efforts, Brown reported the jail has hired over 50 detention officers since March.

He also expressed a desire to create and fill a position that would help administer the jail but would also report back to him.

“The idea behind that, the facility has a level of responsibility, that I want to make sure no one feels as though their supervisor can withhold them from taking the right actions, so this would give me the ability to have somebody on the ground that can work with the facility,” he said.

Brown also had Interim Director Crayman Harvey speak to the council. Harvey discussed the changes he’s made to the mental health unit.

“We’re caring for people. That’s where we’re at. We’re just going back to the basics of caring for people, no matter if they’re a criminal or if they’re staff. We’re caring for people,” he said.

Harvey took over as interim director this summer.

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