Grill ripped from man’s teeth at Tenn. jail, officer demoted

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Lawyers in Nashville have worked out a settlement after a sheriff’s lieutenant ripped the grill off a man’s teeth at the county jail.

The incident in November started with McCoy’s arrest after failing to pay child support. A sheriff’s deputy told him to remove the gold grill attached to his teeth. But when McCoy, 31, told the deputy it was permanently attached, Lt. Tanya Mayhew stepped in. She put on a rubber glove, stuck her hand in his mouth and yanked out the gold jewelry grill cemented to his teeth.

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This is the grill pulled from McCoy's mouth during his arrest in November.

This is the grill pulled from McCoy's mouth during his arrest in November.

McCoy was told to remove the jewelry from his teeth, but he said it was cemented to his teeth. But his attorney, David Raybin, says McCoy ended up spitting out blood and teeth after a sheriff’s lieutenant reached into his mouth and yanked out the grill.

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Raybin says the enamel on McCoy’s front four teeth were ripped off and he was denied proper medical treatment afterward.

“He was spitting out blood and teeth into a trash can, and then told to get back in line,” said Raybin.

A $95,000 settlement is scheduled to go before Nashville’s Metropolitan Council on Tuesday evening.

Mayhew was later demoted and suspended for five days because of the incident. Metro is at a loss to explain why the lieutenant would try to remove the grill because there was no policy against having gold-plated teeth, even if they weren’t permanently attached. A new policy enacted since the incident forbids deputies from removing them.

Satisfaction Analysis by Ethnic Groups Winter 2009 in Nashville.

Information from: The Tennessean,

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.