Man who alleged brutality accused of pointing gun at victim

Devante Pittman was booked into jail Sunday. (Source:CCDC)
Devante Pittman was booked into jail Sunday. (Source:CCDC)

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The man who filed a lawsuit claiming brutality by three Charleston County deputies in West Ashley last fall was arrested Sunday afternoon accused of pointing a gun at a man, according to police records.

Charleston Police Department online records state 20-year-old Devante Antwan Pittman was arrested near Belgrade Avenue and Sam Rittenberg Boulevard around 2 p.m. and taken to the Charleston County Detention Center.

According to Charleston County court records, he is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, receiving stolen goods, and second-degree assault and battery.

On Sunday night, officers responded to the area of Balsam and White Oak in reference to a stolen vehicle. The victim said he was traveling through the Ardmore neighborhood to go to a soccer game when he saw a vehicle that he had reported stolen.

According to the victim, the vehicle was occupied by two to three males with the driver, later identified as Pittman. The victim said he recognized Pittman as the person that he bought the vehicle from on Craigslist.

Police say the victim followed the vehicle and cornered it on Acacia Road. An incident report states that Pittman then stuck a gun out the door at the victim, who then immediately left the area.

Authorities then located the vehicle and Pittman at Belgrade and Sam Rittenberg Boulevard. Detectives then escorted the victim to the scene where he was able to make positive identification of the suspect.

Investigators say they did not find any contraband or firearms in the stolen vehicle. Police are continuing the investigation.

Pittman had been out of jail after posting bond on a charge of third-degree assault and battery which came after a traffic stop involving three Charleston County Sheriff's Office deputies last November.

Pittman's lawsuit, filed by Attorney Lionel Lofton, alleges the deputies, and one in particular, used excessive force during a Nov. 11 traffic stop on Orleans Road.

According to the lawsuit, Pittman was driving his Dodge Charger on Savannah Highway around 11 p.m. when he turned onto Orleans Road and noticed flashing blue lights from two Charleston County Sheriff's Office cruisers behind him.

Pittman's attorney said his client immediately pulled over near the Monster Music on Orleans Road and began to search for his driver's license and vehicle registration.

At that time, the lawsuit states Deputy Christopher Davis approached the window and told Pittman he was being stopped and ticketed for failure to use his turn signal.

The lawsuit states Pittman told Davis he thought he had used his turn signal, which prompted Davis to reach his right hand through the open window on the driver's side and strike Pittman in the face, repeatedly, with a flashlight.

Pittman's attorney said two other deputies, James Howard and Gilbert Baldwin, then walked over and helped Davis force Pittman from the vehicle.

The lawsuit alleges as Howard and Baldwin restrained Pittman, Davis pulled the back of Pittman's head and repeatedly struck him in the face with his right fist.

The lawsuit states "the force of Davis's blows was so severe that one of [Pittman's] teeth, along with some of the bone attached to the tooth, was knocked out."

No settlement has been reached in the lawsuit.

The State Law Enforcement Division has since charged Davis with third-degree assault and battery.  He has been placed on administrative leave without pay.

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