Family files suits against Florence Co. Sheriff's Office, claiming violation of constitutional rights

Family files suits against Florence Co. Sheriff's Office, claiming violation of constitutional rights

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A Florence family has filed four separate lawsuits against the Florence County Sheriff's Office, claiming authorities forcefully entered their home without a search warrant, arrested two young men, and put their mother in handcuffs in violation of their constitutional rights.

The lawsuits allege that on April 5, deputies arrested Tyler Matusiewicz at the door of the home, then entered the home without a search warrant, arrested Timothy Matusiewicz for breach of peace and placed their mother in handcuffs. The mother was released, but the brothers were detained in jail overnight.

According to a news release from the McLeod Law Group, the April 5 incident stepped from Timothy Matusiewicz's initial arrest for allegedly violating a restraining order when he sent an email to his former girlfriend. Tyler Matusiewicz when to the Florence County Law Enforcement Complex to let officers know he believed the charges were without merit, but was asked to leave the complex and complied.

The McLeod Law Group says that deputies went to "great lengths" to obtain an arrest warrant against Tyler Matusiewicz, and then "conspired, planned, and plotted to target, intimidate, and harass the family" on April 5.

"The family believes this level of harassment by the Sheriff's Office has no place in our society and it is important to hold all those accountable in order to prevent this kind of abuse of authority from taking place in the future," stated Attorney W. Mullins McLeod, Jr., who is the lead attorney representing the family.

The McLeod Group filed the suits on behalf of Timothy Matusiewicz, Tyler Matusiewicz, Ron Basile and Diane Basile against the FCSO, Sheriff Kenney Boone, and deputies Mark E. Fuleihan, Anderson J. Beane, and Brooks A. Urquhart.

"This is our first notice of such a lawsuit," stated Major Michael Nunn with the FCSO. "We have not seen the complaint and it has not been served.  Until we have an opportunity to review the allegations in detail, we have nothing upon which to base a comment."

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