Police Ordered to Pay $20,000 for Negligent Arrest

Mr. Legrand Jefferson of Orangeburg, South Carolina was working at his auto body shop, when the defendant, Town of North Police Department were looking for a fleeing suspect and entered the plaintiff’s building. The officers were part of a multi-jurisdictional task force and believed that the plaintiff was harboring the suspect. The officers arrested Mr. Jefferson after the fleeing suspect was found in his garage. Officers placed Mr. Jefferson in a squad car and drove him about five miles to where their chief was located. After talking with the chief, the officers released Mr. Jefferson and returned him to his garage.

Mr. Jefferson alleged he was negligently arrested and detained by the defendant’s officers. He denied harboring the fleeing suspect and claimed he ordered the suspect to leave. The defendant contended that an officer saw the plaintiff wave at the suspect to come into his garage. The defendant then further alleged that Mr. Jefferson was holding some sort of tool and refused to drop it when the officers instructed him to.

Mr. Jefferson’s alleged injuries were negligent arrest and detainment, as well as a chest contusion. He claimed approximately $1,500 in past medical bills.

After the jury deliberated for 3 hours, the verdict was $20,000 on June 2, 2010.

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