St. Louis police officer accused of assaulting handcuffed man
July 26, 2012
By Christine Byers

ST. LOUIS - The Police Department suspended a St. Louis patrolman and is seeking a felony charge against him for allegedly beating a trespassing suspect who was handcuffed and sitting in a wheelchair at the Lumière Place Casino downtown.

Officer Charles Proctor, 39, was arrested Monday on suspicion of second-degree assault, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, for an incident July 5, according to police and city officials. He was released on his own recognizance. The circuit attorney's office has not issued formal charges.

Neither Proctor nor Nels Moss, a lawyer said to be representing him, could be reached for comment.

Jermaine Lacy, 35, of St. Louis, acknowledged to the Post-Dispatch in an interview Wednesday that he knew he was not supposed to be in the casino, at 999 North Second Street, and that he had taunted police.

"I know I was guilty of trespassing, but you have no right to put your hands on me like that," he said.

Lacy said he also plans to file a formal complaint against a Missouri Highway Patrol officer, ostensibly assigned to casino duty that day, who he alleged assaulted him before Proctor arrived.

A Highway Patrol spokesman, Sgt. Al Nothum, said the agency has not received such a complaint.

Lacy did file a formal complaint with the St. Louis police internal affairs unit and said he picked out a photo of his attacker.

He said that on Tuesday, prosecutors showed him surveillance video of the incident.

Proctor, who was on duty at the time, is assigned to the 4th District, which includes the casino. He has been on the force about 8 ½ years. He was suspended Tuesday.


Lacy said he has a gambling addiction and a big mouth.

"I don't mean no harm by it," Lacy said of his sharp tongue. "That's just how I have fun. I like to get a reaction out of people."

He also has a criminal record, including a 2001 statutory rape case involving a 12-year-old victim that landed him on the sex offender registry.

In 2010, he was charged with trespassing at Lumière Casino three times. As a condition of his probation, an order of protection was issued, banning him from the premises.

But the temptation was too strong, he said, after he finished work at a restaurant July 5.

"The casinos are like my home away from home," he explained.

Once inside, he said, he borrowed $20 from another gambler on a promise of paying back $25. Lacy lost the $20 and an argument followed, attracting the attention of security personnel.

Lacy said he tried to leave, but the state trooper stopped and handcuffed him.

Lacy said he requested medical attention because he has asthma but instead was assaulted and suffered a knee injury.

He claims Proctor arrived and told him, "You know you should stay away from casinos," to which Lacy says he responded: "You should stay away from Kentucky Fried Chicken," making reference to the officer's weight.

Lacy says he was then further assaulted and was again denied medical attention. Casino medical personnel put him in a wheelchair, he said.

Lacy said he continued to make pointed remarks to police as he was taken into custody, drawing more beatings.

The next day, Lacy said, he was released from jail and sought treatment on his own at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He said doctors found no broken bones. He said it hurt to swallow for about four days and he coughed up blood.

About two days later, Lacy filed a complaint.

The Police Department would not comment Wednesday beyond confirming an arrest and suspension. Police spokesman David Marzullo said investigators applied for warrants.

Police Chief Dan Isom did not respond to a request for comment.

Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce's office is currently reviewing the warrant applications against Proctor from police, said spokeswoman Susan Ryan. The office has not received a report from the Highway Patrol about Lacy's alleged trespassing the night of his arrest, Ryan said.

Lacy said at least half a dozen people —including casino workers and the trooper — witnessed the assault but did nothing to intervene.

Lumière spokeswoman Candace Coleman did not return emails seeking comment.