Man sues police, saying they broke his nose

BEAUFORT, SC (AP) - A man convicted of drinking in public and resisting arrest is suing the Beaufort Police Department, claiming an officer deliberately slammed on his brakes to injure the man while he was in the back seat.

The Beaufort Gazette reports that Mark Altman Jr. was arrested in November 2009 and charged with drinking in public. Police say he resisted arrest, so they used pepper spray and a baton to subdue him.

Altman says that while being transported in the police cruiser, the officer hit the brakes, causing Altman to bang his face against the window and break his nose.

City officials deny his allegations. Beaufort attorney William Harvey says the lawsuit is the first time officials have heard Altman's claims to have broken his nose in the incident.

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