City, deputies named in suit

A lawsuit was filed Tuesday against the city of Augusta and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office in connection with a 2009 incident that led to a former deputy's arrest on a charge of aggravated battery.

The federal suit, which seeks damages in excess of $75,000, details the night of July 25, 2009, and how the plaintiff, Christopher Kersey, wound up in jail with a broken jaw and two black eyes.

Kersey says in the suit that he was on the dance floor of the Country Club on Washington Road when he pushed an intoxicated patron who had stepped on his foot twice.

"A few seconds later, the Plaintiff was tackled from behind by Deputy (Bryan) Johnson and Deputy (Joey) Micheaux, knocked down face first, punched several times in the head, negligently or wrongfully arrested and handcuffed with his arms behind his back," the suit states.

From there Kersey was taken outside - his head used as a "battering ram" against the front door - where he was further abused while still in handcuffs, the lawsuit alleges.

Kersey seeks damages from the deputies, two unidentified deputies, Sheriff Ronnie Strength, Mayor Deke Copenhaver, the Augusta Commis­sion, the club and its owner, A.B.C. Co.

Kersey claims the county officials are responsible because they failed to provide proper training to deputies. The deputies are named for their alleged roles; Johnson was charged with aggravated battery in the case and fired from his job.

The business and its operator are liable because they hired the deputies as security, the suit alleges.

Reach Kyle Martin at (706) 823-3221 or kyle.martin@augustachronicle.com.