Hephzibah man says police attacked him in case of mistaken identity

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October 12, 2006

A Hephzibah man says he's a victim of police brutality after he was mistaken for somebody else.

The scuffle happened at his Lake Ontario home on October 2, after narcotics agents followed him from a different address, 2873 Lake Michigan Drive.

An internal investigation has been launched into what happened that night.

The results of that investigation have yet to be released, but the Nutt family hopes once they are, some officers with the narcotics team will be fired.

For Kevin Nutt, being curious got him a lot of attention.

The Hephzibah man says he was wrongfully roughed up after being mistaken for the owner of a home where police were looking for drugs. During their search, they spotted Kevin circling the area.

"They said that they thought that I was coming down there to go into the house and I was him because I turned around," Kevin told News 12.

According to one witness, police stormed Kevin's home, "slammed him down, slapped cuffs on him and yelled at him, calling him Steve."

That "Steve" is Steven Sears, who was their target that night.

"In every case that we get a complaint in, we launch an internal investigation," Maj. Ken Autry told News 12. "There's such an investigation going on in this case."

Kevin's father Charles, who contacted News 12, hopes that investigation will prove the narcotics officers were wrong.

"I would know who I was going after before I went after him. Especially if it was a person that had been arrested quite a few times and been in trouble," Charles said.

To better illustrate his case, Kevin took digital pictures of the injuries he allegedly suffered, like a bruised arm and cuts on his wrists.

He says he's even had trouble sleeping at night.

Kate Tillotson: "You're scared."

Kevin Nutt: "Yeah."

KT: "Of the police."

KN: "Yeah. The way they handled me that night, yes."

"You know I can't speculate as to what that would be or if they did act inappropriately...but if they did then the sheriff would deal with them," Maj. Autry said.

If one or more of these officers are found guilty of police brutality, it's very likely they'll lose their jobs.

People have been fired for this in the past...

If the investigation finds that the officers did nothing wrong, Kevin's father says he'll encourage his son to press charges. In fact, they've already brainstormed what they'd ask for in dollar amounts.