Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office sued for false arrest, imprisonment
BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office and one of its deputies face a new lawsuit in connection with a 2020 traffic stop and arrest.
Maurice Grant filed the lawsuit Monday claiming he was driving with his cousin down I-526 in January of 2020 when a tire on their car went flat. The suit states that while he attempted to find a safe place to pull over, Berkeley County Deputy Cpl. Steven Worley initiated a traffic stop and pulled him over.
Grant claims at one point, Worley pointed a gun at him and when Grant asked why he was being detained, Worley said there was a 2019 warrant for his arrest on charges of failure to stop for a blue light and evading arrest.
Despite Grant’s claims that there was no warrant for his arrest, Worley handcuffed him, searched his person and “pushed” him into his police vehicle, court documents state.
Worley then arrested Grant and took him to the Berkeley County Detention Center, where he was kept in jail for two nights until he was eventually released on bond, the suit claims.
Court documents state Grant hired an attorney to defend the charges and learned the warrant that led to his arrest was for another person with the same name.
Grant’s lawsuit alleges an incident report from October of 2019 described the offender as standing 5-feet, 10-inches tall and weighing 190 pounds, while Grant is 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs 280 pounds.
Despite what the suit calls “ample evidence” that Worley had misidentified Grant and falsely arrested him, the criminal charges remained pending for more than three years until they were finally dismissed this past February, the suit alleges.
Grant is suing for violation of his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure. He also alleges assault and battery and false arrest and false imprisonment. It accuses the sheriff’s office of negligence.
Grant is seeking a jury trial and damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, and loss of future income as well as punitive damages.
Berkeley County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jeremy Baker declined to comment, saying the sheriff’s office has not yet been served with the lawsuit.
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