HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A man claims he was wrongfully arrested by the Horry County Police Department after he was involved in a crash with a deer in November, according to a lawsuit.
Christopher Gosnell hit a deer with his truck on Nov. 17, according to the lawsuit, which was filed Jan. 12. Police were called to investigate the crash.
Gosnell said in the lawsuit that he was arrested on a courtesy summons that was five years old when officers arrived to investigate.
A courtesy summons is “a criminal charging document to be used where a citizen, rather than a law enforcement officer, requests the arrest of a person for allegedly committing a summary court level offense,” according to state code.
Gosnell claims he was never served with or was aware of the summons, which was issued on Dec. 15, 2017, according to the lawsuit.
Gosnell claimed the police department placed the dead deer in the back of the truck on a $1,000 mattress he was transporting — which was discovered when he went to retrieve the impounded truck after his release from jail, according to the lawsuit.
A police report of the arrest obtained by News13 states the responding officer “was able to look in the back of the truck and did confirm the dead deer in his possession.” The report states the crash happened along Waterway Palms Boulevard in the Myrtle Beach area, which is off of River Oaks Drive.
Gosnell claims he spent about four to five hours in jail and “was informed that he should not have been taken to jail on a courtesy summons,” according to the lawsuit.
Gosnell also accused the department of slander by releasing his name and photo to media outlets, according to the lawsuit. News13 didn’t report on Gosnell’s arrest.
Gosnell is suing for malicious prosecution, false arrest, false imprisonment, slander, and conspiracy.
News13 reached out to an Horry County spokesperson for comment. News13 has also requested the police report for the crash and subsequent arrest.
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Kevin Accettulla is the digital executive producer at News13. Kevin is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He joined the News13 team in March 2020 after nearly two years at a sister station in Pennsylvania. Follow Kevin on Twitter and read more of his work here.