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Former jail inmate says twitching led to attack by guard

He now uses a wheelchair after he says guard grabbed his neck
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 16:42:16-05

CLEVELAND — Glenn Mayer says his medical condition was well-known to fellow inmates and guards at the Cuyahoga County jail.

"I mean they even gave me a nickname," said Mayer. "Twitch. They used to call me Twitch."

Mayer says he's lived with Tourette Syndrome since he was five years old.

"The easiest way to put it is, I have uncontrolled movements," said Mayer.

He believes those movements led a corrections officer to grab him, resulting in injuries that left Mayer in a wheelchair.

"I have one disability," said Mayer. "I damn sure don't need a second one. I damn sure don't want to in this wheelchair."

He says it all started in October. Mayer was in jail facing domestic violence charges. Mayer says the officer, who was not familiar with the medical unit where Mayer was housed, watched as a nurse gave him his medication.

"The nurse had grabbed my hand to give me my meds," said Mayer. "When she did that, I was twitching. He was behind me. He grabbed me by the back of my neck. It was getting bad, like I'm straight up and he had stuck his elbow in my back and now it almost looked like a seizure that I'm going into."

That's when Mayer says the nurse, who was familiar with Mayer's condition told the guard to leave Mayer alone.

According to witnesses statements, the guard told the nurse, "I'm used to this. I choke people out." That jailer now faces possible discipline. He's accused of unnecessary physical contact with an inmate.

A union representative tells 5 On Your Side Investigators the jailer perceived the medical condition as a potential threat and was only acting to restrain the inmate. Mayer doesn't believe it.

"I had bruises on my neck, said Mayer. "If you're restraining somebody, you're not going to hurt them in the process."

Mayer reported the incident. He says within a couple of days he lost feeling on the left side of his body and had to be taken to the hospital. The 33 year old said he was treated for five days, then returned to the jail. He says he shared his experience with a member of the US Marshal's jail review team. Mayer said that led to harassment from other officers.

"Like, 'oh we were talking about you in roll call," Mayer said. "You're talking to the federal people now, huh?' Just little saying like that. Just always trying to get under my skin."

Mayer pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to probation. While it got him out of jail, he wonders if his time behind bars will mean another kind of life sentence.

"They put me on probation," Mayer said. "There shouldn't be a punishment of taking my ability to walk away from me."

Mayer says he still doesn't have feeling in his left leg. He's scheduled an appointment with a neurologist hoping it leads to a diagnosis and treatment plan that will allow him to walk again.

Mayer has hired an attorney, but insists he's sharing his story hoping it brings change to the county jail.

The jailer, who's been with the county since October, 2013 remains on the job.

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