LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — “If anybody goes to jail, they should not be abused,” said Sonya Asomaning. “They have rights just like everybody else.”
Asomaning’s son, Carroll Williams, was arrested Thursday, Feb. 11 at night. She says he called her the next morning and explained what happened.
“He was crying, and at that point, my son had told me he thinks the guard had got agitated because he couldn’t get the cuffs off.”
Joshua Salmon, Administrator of Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority, described Williams as “belligerent.”
“In the course of…attempting to restrain him from harming himself or us,” said Salmon, “we believe that the claim is that the officer pressed his head into the ground.”
According to Salmon, after the alleged assault, he was moved to the Bedford facility to remove him from the environment, and the accused officer was placed on paid administrative leave.
A mugshot was taken when Williams was first brought in. His mom says a photo, taken by his girlfriend at the Bedford facility, shows facial swelling not visible in his mugshot.
“His teeth were knocked out,” said Asomaning, “he was punched in his head, his nose looked like it was broke. I don’t know if it was. They did X-rays at the jail.”
She says all of that happened while her son was already handcuffed, and that he remained handcuffed throughout the night.
Salmon identified the accused officer as William Johnson.
“There’s nothing in his personnel file that would indicate he has any previous complaints like this, so this is kind of a first for him,” said Salmon.
Asomaning hopes speaking out will help prevent future abuse.
“One thing I want to say, I hope this never happens to no mother, getting a call from their child crying from jail.”
The investigation is ongoing. Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison said on Wednesday she had not yet made any charging decisions.