Ex-con sues city after disfiguring accident

Published: .
Updated: .

Sandra Chapman/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The city of Indianapolis is on notice tonight of a pending lawsuit for failing to repair a pothole that a convicted felon says destroyed his face and his future.

It's a bizarre twist for convicted murderer Paul Komyatti, who just regained his freedom. Now he's on an unplanned path to personal reconstruction.

His bike escaped with barely a scratch, but Paul Komyatti nearly lost his entire face. He's healing, but the least disturbing images of what doctors managed to piece back together are still difficult to view.

"I'm doing a lot better than I was," Komyatti told Eyewitness News from his home Thursday.

According to the 45-year-old, his injuries all resulted from a hidden chuck hole or pothole near a bridge trestle. He went over the handle bars and under the overpass landing on either drainage grates or water pipes.

"I just thought it was a little water on the road. When I hit it, I went flying. There was two pieces sticking up out of the concrete, and that's what my face smacked on," he said, wiping away at his face.

The accident happened June 19th. For 22cdays he lay in a coma, and under went seven surgeries.

Now back home and facing up to 50 more operations, the ex-con and his attorney filed notice with the city of a pending lawsuit, saying, "Komyatti's nose was sheared from his face, his chin broken in two places, his upper lip sliced off; he lost twelve bottom teeth and half his tongue, broke both eye sockets, tore facial muscles and fractured over 50 facial bones."

Paul Komyatti's body was found against a concrete wall. Just a few feet away was fresh black top put down a week ago. But neighbors say that was for an entirely different reason.

"A water line had broke[n]," said Jim, the night watchman at Prospect Auto Parts across the street. "I've never seen a gaping chuckhole other than when they had the blow-out in the water line pipe," he told Eyewitness News.

Jim saw Komyatti riding his bike that Saturday night, but didn't see the accident.

The police report filed the night of the accident backs Komyatti's version saying, he "hit a large chuck hole right underneath the railroad bridge, flipping off his bike and landing on his face" and that "DOT was notified and asked to put up a barricade where the chuck hole is. The chuck hole is approximately a foot deep and its widest point eight inches, narrowing on each side."

City legal declined to comment on the pending action.

Komyatti spent 27 years in prison for the brutal stabbing murder of his father. He gained early release last year, but within weeks was rearrested on a parole violation for traveling to Michigan City days before a prison break by three inmates. After serving ten more months, he was freed in May. A month later, his face and life were radically altered.