United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
Ellis, III, United States District Judge.
Shahaddah, an incarcerated but represented inmate, initiated
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Virginia
law following an incident at the Arlington County Detention
Facility. Shahaddah was performing his duties as a
workforce trustee when Deputy Gotcher unlocked inmate Andrew
Rose's cell door. Rose ran out of his cell, began chasing
Shahaddah, and threw a bucket of ice water towards Shahaddah
and Deputy Gotcher. Shahaddah slipped on the ice water and
injured himself. Shahaddah subsequently initiated this
action, alleging that Deputy Gotcher failed to protect him
and failed to intervene, in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. Shahaddah also alleges that Deputy Gotcher was
grossly negligent, in violation of Virginia law. Finally,
Shahaddah contends that the Arlington County Sheriffs Office
and Arlington County Sheriff Beth Arthur are liable under
theories of respondeat superior and strict
issue now is defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.
Defendants argue that summary judgment must be entered in
their favor because the undisputed factual record reveals
that Deputy Gotcher was neither deliberatively indifferent to
Shahaddah's safety nor grossly negligent. The parties, by
counsel, have fully briefed and argued the motion, and it is
now ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth herein,
defendants' motion must be granted.
judgment is appropriate only where there are no genuine
disputes of material fact, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Accordingly, the
record facts as to which no genuine dispute exists must first
be identified. To this end, Local Rule 56(B) directs a movant
for summary judgment to include a section listing, in
numbered-paragraph form, all material facts as to which the
movant contends no genuine dispute exists. The nonmovant must
then respond, also in numbered-paragraph form, to each
numbered paragraph, either admitting or contesting the
putative undisputed fact and citing admissible record
evidence to establish a genuine dispute of material fact.
Both parties have complied with this Local Rule. The
following undisputed facts are derived from defendants'
list of putative undisputed facts and Shahaddah's
responses thereto, as well as the video of the incident:
• Deputy Gotcher is employed by the Arlington County
Sheriffs Office and works in the Arlington County Detention
• On April 26, 2017, Deputy Gotcher was tasked with
delivering meals to inmates in their cells in ACDF's 11A
housing unit and subsequently retrieving the meal trays.
• Shahaddah, a member of the inmate workforce at ACDF,
was assigned to assist Deputy Gotcher with meal delivery and
tray retrieval on April 26, 2017.
• Following delivery of the meals. Deputy Gotcher
approached inmate Andrew Rose's cell and attempted to
collect Rose's meal tray. Shahaddah was on the other side
of the 11A Day Area retrieving a trash can at the time.
• Deputy Gotcher asked Rose to put his meal tray in the
food slot of his cell door, a small opening through which
meal trays can pass through. Rose responded that he would not
get off his bunk.
• Shahaddah retrieved the trash can and placed it by a
table near Deputy Gotcher, who stood in front of Rose's
cell. Shahaddah then moved slightly farther away and stood
next to the meal cart,  a large cart used to hold trays during
• Deputy Gotcher instructed Rose to stay at the back of
his cell, away from the door at the front of the cell, so
that Deputy Gotcher could open the cell door and remove
Rose's meal tray. Rose did not make any threats or
display any pre-assault indicators.
• Rose kneeled on his bunk facing the wall, and Deputy
Gotcher caused the opening of Rose's cell
door. Rose then got off his bunk,  and Deputy
Gotcher issued verbal warnings to Rose to stay where he was.
Rose did not comply.
• Deputy Gotcher attempted to close the cell door, but
Rose escaped before Deputy Gotcher could close the cell
door. Rose ran out of his cell and began chasing
• Deputy Gotcher used the radio on his shoulder to call
for assistance and then shouted multiple verbal commands at
Rose to stop. Rose failed to comply. Deputy Gotcher took out
his Oleoresin Capsicum ("OC") spray and moved to
cut Rose off as Rose chased Shahaddah.
• Shahaddah ran behind Deputy Gotcher, who faced Rose. A
table separated Deputy Gotcher and Shahaddah from Rose.
Deputy Gotcher raised his OC spray, pointed it towards Rose,
and took several steps towards Rose.
• Rose grabbed a bucket of ice water from the top of the
meal cart and flung it towards Deputy Gotcher and Shahaddah.
The bucket did not hit Deputy Gotcher or Shahaddah; rather,
it fell to the ground, spilling ice water on the floor.
• Rose moved towards Shahaddah, who took several steps
towards Rose. Deputy Gotcher moved closer to Rose and sprayed
him with OC spray. Rose bent over, holding his face, and
stopped his attack.
• While Rose stood still holding his hands to his face,
Deputy Gotcher instructed Shahaddah to move away. Deputy
Gotcher then signaled to responding deputies to enter the
• While Shahaddah sat on the stairs, another deputy
entered the area and assisted Deputy Gotcher with handcuffing
Rose and removing him from the unit.
• After Rose was removed, Shahaddah assisted Deputy
Gotcher with completing the meal service and then exited the