A Newcastle man has filed a civil complaint against the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the sheriff, and a deputy, saying actions by the deputy led him to have a heart attack.
Raoul Nelson, 67, named the LCSO, Sheriff Todd Brackett, and Deputy 1st Class Mark Bridgham as the defendants in his Jan. 21 notice of claim filed at the Lincoln County Courthouse in Wiscasset.
The complaint stems from an Aug. 4, 2015 incident during which Bridgham arrested Nelson for allegedly stealing signs advertising a blueberry stand from a woman on Route 1 in Newcastle. Nelson was charged with theft by unauthorized taking, a class E crime. He denies the charge in his civil complaint.
According to Nelson, during the incident, two cruisers arrived with their lights on.
Bridgham handcuffed Nelson’s hands behind his back and ordered him into the back seat of one of the vehicles, according to the complaint. Nelson said he attempted to get inside the vehicle but it was “next to impossible” with his hands cuffed behind his back.
In his complaint, Nelson said that as Bridgham was placing him in the vehicle, he could not breathe and began to have chest pains.
Nelson was transported by ambulance to LincolnHealth-Miles Campus, where it was determined he had suffered a heart attack, according to his complaint.
Nelson said in the complaint that the heart attack was a direct result of Bridgham’s “excessive and unwarranted treatment.”
Brackett is not included in Nelson’s narrative of the events, despite being named as a defendant.
Brackett declined to comment, and referred further questions to attorney John Wall, of Monaghan Leahy in Portland. Brackett said Wall is representing the sheriff’s office. Wall did not respond to a request for comment.
The theft charge remains pending, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Kanwit said. Nelson is due to appear in court for the case Oct. 24.