Birmingham & Black Country

IPCC probes man's pillowcase arrest in Wolverhampton

An investigation has begun into claims a man, who had his head covered with a pillowcase when he was arrested, was assaulted by police.

The man, 45, spent a week in hospital with a punctured lung and a broken rib after his arrest by West Midlands Police in Wolverhampton on 7 February.

The force has referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

It said it would examine whether any force used by officers was reasonable.

The IPCC said the man was detained on suspicion of assault by six officers and restrained.

The man was allegedly spitting so officers put a pillowcase over his head, before taking him to a police van to drive him to the station, West Midlands Police said.

The pillowcase was taken off and he was put in a cell but was later seen by a police doctor.

'Serious injuries'

He was transferred to hospital, after five hours in custody, when he complained of breathing difficulties and chest pains, the force said.

The IPCC said its investigation would examine whether any force used by police officers was reasonable and proportionate.

It said it would also investigate how the man's injuries were caused and whether officers acted in accordance with policies and procedures, including the use of a pillowcase.

IPCC commissioner Sarah Green said: "The man's complaints arise from him sustaining serious injuries.

"It is right we independently examine how these were caused and whether the actions of police officers were appropriate in the circumstances."

Det Ch Insp Julian Harper from West Midlands Police said: "Following a complaint made on 16 February regarding his treatment on arrest, we referred the matter to the IPCC who are carrying out an independent investigation, which the force is fully co-operating with."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites