Former OSF Actor sues Jackson Co.

ASHLAND, Ore. – Pinned by the neck and chained to the floor, those are just a few of the accusations former OSF actor Juan “Tony” Sancho is making against Jackson County in a federal lawsuit.

A former Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor has filed a lawsuit against Jackson Co. and Sheriff’s Office Deputies for excessive force. His attorney says the video speaks for itself.

“What this case does highlight is that allegations of excessive use of force are not limited to occurrences in large cities,” said Plaintiff’s attorney Matthew Rowan.

Rowan says the Jackson Co. Jail video shows his client, Juan Sancho, being attacked by 3 deputies after he knocked on his jail door.

“We have a documented incident of an individual who was pulled to the ground inside jail custody, after he already was arrested. In a cell by himself,” said Rowan.

Sancho’s lawsuit says he lost consciousness from having his neck pinned to the floor. When he regained consciousness he knocked on the door again. The lawsuit which was also filed against 3 deputies, says Deputy Michael Hammond and Brady Bjorkland then came in, handcuffing Sancho to the urine grate, where he laid in his own urine for approximately 2.5 hours.

“What is Sheriff Sickler going to do about this? The night ended with my client being chained to a metal urine grate on a concrete floor,” said Rowan.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday. It’s seeking unspecified monetary damages for physical and emotional pain, suffering and distress. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office declined an interview, but provided this statement.

“We take all allegations of improper use of force seriously and review them. Because there is pending litigation we can’t further comment.”

Sancho was arrested in Ashland on a resist arrest charge, which was later dropped. He’s no longer with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and reportedly lives in LA.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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