By ANNE EASKER
PUNTA GORDA — A man formerly incarcerated at Charlotte Correctional Institution is suing staff there for allegedly failing to protect him from violence.
Michael Evans, 52, was allegedly stabbed by his fellow prisoners on Oct. 3, 2018, resulting in “permanent injuries and emotional distress: nightmares, night sweats, and mental anguish.”
He is seeking damages exceeding $15,000.
The stabbing happened after Evans was allegedly released from confinement and placed in general population. He was supposed to go to disciplinary court on Oct. 1, but it was postponed for further investigation, the lawsuit states. Two days later, he was put back in general population, where the stabbing reportedly occurred.
The lawsuit states his release went against the institution’s policies and procedures, and he was “viciously and brutally stabbed by prisoners using homemade knives out of broom sticks, metal, etc.”
Evans indicates in the pro se suit violence like his stabbing is common in the prison due to a lack of proper searches.
“Institutional searches or shake downs are done carelessly, insufficiently, and negligently,” Evans wrote. “Prisoners are allowed access to brooms, mops, and other dangerous tools without adequate supervision. No logs or records are kept of the inmates uses of dangerous tools.”
Due to the lack of supervision, prisoners “routinely made shanks... and other dangerous weapons without meaningful detection.” He claims the prisoners are “allowed to engage in violent attacks: stabbings and cuttings without fear of retribution and meaningful detection.”
Evans was allegedly “viciously and brutally stabbed by prisoners using homemade knives out of broom sticks, metal, etc.”
When cuttings and stabbings occur, he says, prisoners are almost never referred for criminal prosecution, only close management.
Evans is now in custody at Dade Correctional Institution, according to his address on the lawsuit.
The Department of Corrections was unable to confirm or deny details of the incident this week after the Sun inquired. Spokesperson Rob Klepper said Friday he was unsure if the department had been served with the lawsuit, so he could not provide any additional comment.
There has been at least one other incident of violence at the prison within the last year. Earlier this year, inmate Jay Myers wrote to the Sun he’d been cut by another inmate from the inside of his cheek up to his right ear, nearly severing it.
“It took over 3 dozen stitches to close the wounds,” he said in a letter.
An incident report stated the incident occurred when Myers was returning to his dorm after dinner. A review of the fixed cameras in the area was conducted “with no findings of the incident,” according to the report.
Myers stated in a letter the cameras in the area where he was attacked were broken and inoperative for at least the last three years.
“Everybody knows it and knows they can get away with attacks with no detection,” he said.
Myers was relocated to Martin Correctional Institution after the attack.