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Judge awards Pittsburgh man $7,500 from jail guard's beating

| Thursday, May 23, 2013, 3:51 p.m.

A federal judge on Thursday awarded a Polish Hill man $7,500 in damages for a beating he received from an Allegheny County Jail guard.

U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry ruled David Kipp is entitled to $3,000 in compensatory damages and $4,500 in punitive damages for the October 2010 beating inflicted by former guard Arii L. Metz, 34, of the North Side.

“The conduct of Metz was outrageous and constituted a malicious and wanton violation of Kipp's rights,” McVerry wrote.

Pittsburgh police arrested Kipp in October 2010 on assault charges. Jail guards believed Kipp presented a danger to himself, so they clothed him in a suicide prevention jumpsuit and placed him in an isolated cell, court records show.

Metz, the guard on duty, became frustrated and struck Kipp in the face several times because Kipp repeatedly buzzed the intercom from his cell to request permission to make a phone call and to get an attorney, his clothes and medication.

Metz broke Kipp's nose, ruptured blood vessels in his eyes and perforated his eardrum, records show.

Metz pleaded guilty on March 4 in federal court to violating Kipp's civil rights. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18.

An Allegheny County jury in August convicted a second guard, Marcia Williams, 40, of Perry South of official oppression, obstruction of justice and making false statements. A judge sentenced her to a year of probation.

In March, Kipp reached a settlement with guard Timothy Miller and Allegheny Correctional Health Services and its president, Dana Phillips. McVerry dismissed the county and former jail Warden Ramon Rustin from the lawsuit in April.

Kipp pleaded guilty to simple assault in May 2011, and an Allegheny County judge sentenced him to nine months of probation.

Adam Brandolph is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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