Nevada County correctional officer named in suit also faces criminal charges

Alan Riquelmy
Staff Writer

A Nevada County correctional officer accused in a lawsuit of breaking a jailed man’s leg faces unrelated misdemeanor charges of assault by a public officer and battery, authorities said.

Adam Grizzell, 25, is on paid administrative leave, the Sheriff’s Office said. The office declined to say when or why it placed Grizzell on leave.

Accused in a federal lawsuit of breaking a Nevada County Jail inmate’s leg in January, Grizzell faces unrelated accusations that he assaulted a man on June 27, court records state.

“The allegations are that the inmate was handcuffed and that Officer Grizzell slammed him against the wall,” Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said.

The inmate was taken to the hospital for evaluation. Walsh called the injuries minor — the main reason his office opted to pursue misdemeanor charges.

Walsh said his office considered other incidents involving Grizzell which could become evidence in the misdemeanor case. Charges were filed on Oct. 12.

“There is video evidence of our case as well,” Walsh said.

Sacramento-based defense attorney Mark Wilson, who represents Grizzell, declined comment.

According to Walsh, the Sheriff’s Office in some cases performs its own investigations. In this case the District Attorney’s Office was requested to investigate.

“I believe these charges would have ramifications to his future career in law enforcement,” Walsh said.

Attorney Patrick Dwyer, who filed suit on behalf of Christopher Howie in the January incident, declined comment, saying he hasn’t yet seen the criminal charges against Grizzell.

The correctional officer is named in a federal lawsuit filed last month. In that lawsuit Howie claims Grizzell pushed him against a wall of the Nevada County Jail while being escorted down a hallway on Jan. 11. Grizzell then pushed Howie’s head and upper back, again forcing his face into the wall, the suit states.

Howie turned toward Grizzell and told him to stop pushing his face into the wall. Grizzell then grabbed Howie’s “beenie” and pulled it over his head. Grizzell pulled Howie’s handcuffed hands up before putting his weight on Howie, forcing him to the floor, according to the suit.

Howie then felt his right leg breaking, the suit states.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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