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$10,000 Settles North Carolina Man's Claim of Assault, False Arrest

by Christopher Zoukis

A Gaston County, North Carolina man has accepted $10,000 to settle a lawsuit in which he alleged that police officers violated his civil rights, assaulted him and falsely arrested him.

Mark D. Ewing, a 46-year-old disabled man, was mowing his lawn August 9, 2008 when he was allegedly harassed and taunted by his neighbor, Raymond Hamilton. Ewing said that during the incident Hamilton displayed a handgun. Ewing claimed that this was not the first time that Hamilton had acted in this manner.

This may have been the first time that Hamilton also called the cops on the disabled lawn mower, however. Hamilton told police that Ewing had caused a "civil disturbance." When the police arrived, Ewing alleged that he was cooperative, but that he was thrown to the ground, pinned there and Tasered twice. Ewing also alleged that Officers L.E. Farris. C.D. Forman and Jonathan Moore slammed his face into their cruiser, and ran his head into the door while pushing him into the backseat.

Ewing was charged with resisting arrest, but was acquitted of the charge. He sued Hamilton, the three officers, police chief David Belk and the City of Mt. Holly. Ewing alleged negligence, slander, malicious prosecution, abuse of process and negligent infliction of emotional distress against Hamilton. He alleged assault and battery, negligence and false arrest against the officers and the city.

Prior to trial, Ewing agreed to settle his claims against the city and the officers for $10,000. The case against Hamilton was not resolved as part of the settlement.

Case: Ewing v. City of Mt. Holly, et al., Gaston County, North Carolina Superior Court, Case No. 11-CVS-2985 (April 29, 2013).

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Related legal case

Ewing v. City of Mt. Holly



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