Lenny Dykstra, a three-time MLB All Star who was part of the New York Mets World Series champion 1986 team, filed a lawsuit Wednesday saying that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies beat him until he could could barely breathe, slamming his head into a wall and knocking out his teeth when he was in an L.A. jail back in April 2012.
A gritty center fielder and leadoff hitter known to teammates as “Nails,” Dykstra helped the Mets overpower the National League East Division in 1986, then get by the Houston Astros in the National League Championship Series and the Boston Red Sox in the World Series in two hard-fought, edge-of-the-seat showdowns.
Joining the Philadelphia Phillies in 1989, Dykstra put together All Star seasons in 1990, ’94 and ’95 before retiring in 1996 due to persistent injuries.
But in recent years Lenny Dykstra, now 51, had a drastic fall from grace. After a series of business failures, he was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and fraud charges. In April of 2012 while in jail he also pleaded no contest to earlier charges of indecent exposure brought by women he hired as housekeepers on Criagslist, but when they showed up, Dykstra would strip nude and ask for a massage.
But now it’s Lenny Dykstra who says he was on the receiving end of a crime — a violent crime, by deputies running a prison system “fueled by abusive violence, and manipulated by hopeless liars,” his lawsuit says.
Indeed, in just the past five months, 20 Los Angeles County Deputies have been indicted by federal prosecutors investigating police brutality inside the Los Angeles County prison system, which is operated by the Sheriff’s Department.
In December of 2012, Lenny Dykstra was hit with another six months in jail for bankruptcy fraud, but at that time allegations that the deputies assaulted and beat him became public.
But the Sheriff’s Department dismissed those claims, saying that there had been a fight in the jail facility, but that Lenny Dykstra started it and the deputies were simply attempting to restrain him.
In his lawsuit, Lenny Dykstra also claims that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department tried to silence him when he tried to report the beating, a similar charge to the allegations of cover-up brought by the government in the federal probe.