Orangeburg Co. man receives $500K settlement after wrongful arrest
ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - An Orangeburg County Man received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state after a lawsuit against the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement officials.
Alonzo Keller will be getting $500,000 from the state’s Insurance Reserve Fund over a lawsuit against the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Leroy Ravenell and Deputy Dontrey Staley.
According to the lawsuit, back in November of 2018, Keller was walking through the parking lot of a gas station in Orangeburg when Deputy Staley approached him and asked for his ID.
The suit says Keller cooperated and had not broken any laws, but Staley still handcuffed him. Keller explained he was on dialysis and asked not to be handcuffed, but the lawsuit states the deputy ignored him, pushed him to the ground and punched him multiple times in the head, which left blood running down Keller’s face and sent him to multiple hospitals for several days because of head trauma.
According to the lawsuit, Keller had blood pooling in his temples, vision impairment, severe headaches and more.
About a month later, the lawsuit says Keller went to court for this arrest only to be told by Staley that he never entered the ticket into the computer system.
The lawsuit states in July of 2019—seven months after the original incident—Keller was served with a warrant for resisting arrest for that incident in the gas station parking lot. Keller was detained and spent the night in the Orangeburg County Jail.
That charge was ultimately dismissed in September of 2019.
The suit says the Sheriff’s Office reviewed Deputy Staley’s conduct during the arrest and found he had falsified his incident report and use of force form. He was discharged from the Sheriff’s Office.
The lawsuit claims there had been numerous other complaints against Staley, including another falsified report. It says the Sheriff’s Office should have never rehired Staley, especially after he left the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office in 2005 and the Sheriff’s Office marked on his file that they would not rehire him because he was under an internal affairs investigation when he resigned.
The suit alleges gross negligence, false imprisonment, assault and battery, emotional distress and more.
That original incident happened 3 years ago, and in November, Keller got his check.
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