Lawyer says victim beaten by deputy received $250K in settlement

Pittman and Davis. (Source: CCDC)
Pittman and Davis. (Source: CCDC)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A motorist who alleges a Charleston County Sheriff's Office deputy used excessive force during a November  traffic stop will receive $250,000 as part of settlement with the department, according to the motorist's lawyer.

The lawsuit against the sheriff's office stated Deputy Christopher Davis beat 20-year-old Devante Antwan Pittman in the face with flashlight a number of times during a traffic stop on Nov. 11, 2012.

Pittman's attorney, Lionel Lofton, says the two sides have agreed to a settlement that will pay Pittman $250,000.

Davis' criminal case will go before a judge Friday at 11 a.m. Originally set for April 12, the trial was rescheduled when the victim's lawyer did not show up and new information was revealed regarding a civil suit against the agency.

Davis, who recently resigned, has been charged by the State Law Enforcement Division with third-degree assault and battery. Officials say Davis, along with two other deputies, assaulted 20-year-old Devante Antwan Pittman after pulling the victim over on Orleans Road around 11 p.m. on Nov. 11, 2012.

Documents state on the night of Nov. 11, Davis pulled Pittman over and told him he was being stopped and ticketed for failure to use his turn signal.

A lawsuit filed against the sheriff's office 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."

Davis was later placed on administrative leave without pay.

Pittman was arrested on April 1 by Charleston police and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, receiving stolen goods, and second-degree assault and battery.

Records state Pittman was spotted driving a car that was reported stolen. The man who saw Pittman, was the owner of the car.

The victim also alleged Pittman pointed a gun at him after he followed the stolen car down a road.

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

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved.