Kyron Hinton, who was beaten by law enforcement on April 3, is suing the Wake County sheriff and the deputy accused of assaulting him.
The complaint, which was filed Monday in Wake County Superior Court, accuses Sheriff Donnie Harrison and deputy Cameron Broadwell of “false imprisonment” and causing “emotional distress.” It also questions whether the K-9 handlers within the sheriff’s office are properly trained.
Hinton’s attorneys, Donald G. Huggins and James Hairston, say their client was unarmed and posing no threat on North Raleigh Boulevard when Broadwell ordered his K-9 partner, Loki, to attack Hinton.
Hinton, 29, has said he was walking home from a sweepstakes parlor that night and was upset after losing all his money. Several people called 911 to report that Hinton was standing in the middle of the road.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
North Carolina Highway Patrol officers, Raleigh police and Wake sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene. Video footage from law enforcement cameras show officers trying to talk to Hinton and forming a perimeter around him. Then Broadwell showed up with the dog.
Hinton has said he suffered several dog bites, a broken nose and a fractured eye socket.
The complaint says Broadwell “intentionally misrepresented to his supervisor” that he retrieved Loki after he “performed an independent assessment of the scene.” In reality, according to the complaint, Broadwell “immediately and without hesitation deployed the canine.”
Broadwell “has a department wide reputation of escalating situations that he encounters in the line of duty with his canine,” according to the complaint.
The complaint also questions whether the K-9 handlers have been properly trained following an incident in 2016 when a sheriff’s office dog bit a 15-year-old girl after the handler lost control of the animal. Six other people last year reported being bitten by the animals, the complaint says.
Hinton was charged with three misdemeanor offenses in the April incident, but the charges were dropped.
The attorneys claim that Harrison and Broadwell used force to unlawfully restrain Hinton. They also claim that Broadwell’s conduct was “malicious and corrupt” and was perpetrated “with a willful and wonton disregard” for Hinton’s rights.
The officers “went beyond all the bounds of decency and conduct that are tolerated by a civilized society and ... in total disregard for their feelings and sensibilities as law-abiding, honest citizens,” according to the complaint.
The sheriff’s office declined to comment Monday.
“We don’t make any comments once a lawsuit is filed,” sheriff’s spokesman John Dee Jones said in an email.