A West Virginia police officer has been suspended without pay after throwing a homeless man’s backpack into a river, reports the Charleston Gazette.
The altercation between Patrolman Brian Lightner and Andrew Joel Hunt, 26, was said to have occurred on Aug. 17 at Spring Street Bridge, according to the Charleston Gazette. Officer Lightner was trying to break up an argument between several homeless people and may have took it too far.
While Hunt allegedly confessed that he was under the influence of alcohol and was ultimately arrested for public intoxication and drunk disorderly conduct, Officer Lightner made a questionable move that would come back to haunt him. After his release from prison, Hunt filed a complaint stating that Lightner threw his backpack, which contained a laptop and the only photos he had of his deceased wife, off of the bridge.
Hunt’s lawyer, Brendan Doneghy, told the Charleston Gazette that he found it incredibly suspicious that the police department dropped the charges out of nowhere without any explanation.
“I received a dismissal out of nowhere,” Doneghy told the Charleston Gazette. “It made me suspicious the allegations (against Lightner) were true.”
The Charleston Police Department and Hunt agreed on an undisclosed settlement after the dive team was able to recover the homeless man’s last personal belongings.
Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster told the Charleston Gazette that Lightner has been suspended without pay since Sept. 9. Sources following the story say that Lightner was considering resigning to evade destruction of property charges, but Webster did not comment on those rumors.
Source: The Charleston Gazette
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