Student bloodied during Tigerland arrest sues officer, police department


Student bloodied during Tigerland arrest sues officer, police department
Mark Patterson is suing Marshall McDermitt, the officer who was caught on camera punching Patterson multiple times in a matter of seconds during a 2019 arrest attempt in Tigerland. (Source: Witness video)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Mark Patterson intends to sue Marshall McDermitt, an officer still appealing his firing from the Baton Rouge Police Department after being caught on camera bloodying Patterson outside of a Tigerland bar.

Bystanders captured video of McDermitt hitting Patterson multiple times in a matter of seconds during the arrest in Tigerland in April of 2019.

Patterson’s injuries included a deviated septum which will require facial plastic reconstructive surgery, as well as teeth repair, according to a federal lawsuit filed by Patterson.

The lawsuit states Patterson also suffers “persisting neurological damage" due to a closed head injury.

The extent of that injury is still being assessed, according to the lawsuit, which also notes Patterson may be permanently disfigured.

GRAPHIC: BRPD officer seen punching bloodied man


McDermitt explained in the police report that he was doing routine patrol when an employee at a bar near LSU flagged him down, saying Patterson was fighting bouncers and refusing to leave the bar.

Patterson’s lawsuit tells a different story.

It states Patterson and his friends were leaving the bar when several bouncers from the bar started a fight with one of Patterson’s friends “without warning.”

Patterson’s friend was left unconscious during the altercation, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit goes on to state McDermitt was called to the bar by the bouncers.

Body camera footage shows Patterson complying with McDermitt’s command for Patterson to walk away from the bar, the lawsuit states.

After arriving McDermitt tackled and punched Patterson “directly in the face no less than ten times,” according to the lawsuit.

McDermitt’s actions are characterized as happening “suddenly and without warning” in the lawsuit.

It goes on to state Patterson never tried to “motion towards” or “flexed a muscle during the entire beatdown.”

Patterson was “flung” onto the trunk of a police car and provided a towel to collect blood streaming from his head and face, the lawsuit claims.


Patterson was charged with disturbing the peace, public intoxication, resisting an officer, and battery on an officer.

The battery on an officer, resisting an officer, and public intoxication charges that were later dismissed, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit states officers “conspired” to charge Patterson in an attempt to “cover up their viciously brutal attack.”

It specifically notes Patterson was “falsly” accused of attempting to disarm another officer at the scene.

Baton Rouge Police Department officials completed an internal investigation into the incident.

McDermitt was given a chance to defend himself in a pre-disciplinary hearing sometime afterward.

He was later fired for violating BRPD policies related to use of force, truthfulness, conduct unbecoming, carrying out orders, and falsification of documents.

McDermitt then began an ongoing appeals process to have his firing overturned.


Officer Marshall McDermitt
Officer Marshall McDermitt

Patterson’s lawsuit makes note of McDermitt’s conduct history while employed with the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD).

According to The Advocate newspaper, in 2018, BRPD Chief Murphy Paul suspended McDermitt for two days for the officer’s repeated uses of profanities during traffic stops. The suspension came after BRPD reviewed multiple hours of body camera footage from McDermitt.

In one incident from November of 2017, McDermitt responded to a call for assistance from another officer after a driver refused to stop, the newspaper reported. The driver crashed into creek and ran off.

His body camera captured McDermitt repeatedly calling the suspect a “b**ch” during the ensuing chase as McDermitt told another officer to “tase the fuc*ing b**ch,” according to the newspaper report.

Chief Paul, in suspending the McDermitt, wrote that he found “a pattern of behavior [that] may violate department policy,” the newspaper report said.

During another incident that led to his suspension, McDermitt used profanity with a handcuffed suspect, saying, “You’re a big motherfuc*er and I’m not the one you want to fu*k with,’ The Advocate reported.

And in another case, McDermitt told a fleeing suspect to “fuc*ing stop or I’m gonna fuc* you up,” the newspaper report said.

McDermitt appealed his two-day suspension to the Baton Rouge Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board, but the board upheld the chief’s decision.

Chief Paul and the Baton Rouge Police Department are also defendants in Patterson’s lawsuit. It claims Chief Paul and city officials have “created and tolerated an atmosphere of lawlessness” among officers.

A spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department cited the agency’s standard procedure of not commenting on pending litigation when called Thursday, April 9.

A court hearing scheduled for McDermitt on Sept. 28 was pushed back to Oct. 26.

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