WRAL reports that Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter faces a temporary restraining order after allegedly having a 71-year-old process server who was bringing him subpoenas in a federal lawsuit arrested:
A 71-year-old man hired to deliver subpoenas in the lawsuit said that, when he showed up at Carter’s house, the sheriff yelled at him and blocked him from leaving until deputies showed up to arrest the man.
In court documents, attorneys for the sheriff say he has a very different take on the incident, and they point out that subpoenas were supposed to be delivered to the defendants’ attorneys.
WRAL also provides some background on the lawsuit itself, which dates back to 2009:
Steven “Wayne” Thomas filed the original civil suit five years ago against Carter and several deputies, seeking more than $3 million in compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages.
According to the suit, Thomas started acting irrationally after working with chemicals in his tobacco fields. As his friend was driving him to seek medical help, Thomas jumped out of the pickup and destroyed a woman’s decorative fence.
When deputies arrived to arrest him, they assaulted him and broke his jaw, the lawsuit alleges. One deputy used his stun gun on Thomas eight times in less than three minutes, according to the suit.
The Rant has long been fond of the tongue-in-cheek phrase “friend of the Rant” with regards to one former elected official, but the term has been literal when applied to Carter: When this blog was still a radio program, the sheriff was a frequent guest to discuss matters ranging from the department’s approach to community policing to his feelings on the gun control debate.
While the lawsuit itself remains to play out in court, it is the Rant’s hope that the public gets an opportunity soon to hear Carter’s version of the events that led to the restraining order.
If there’s no video, or reliable disinterested witnesses, this becomes a win for the Sheriff.