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Two Horry County police officers accused of assault, false imprisonment in lawsuit

(Source: HCPD Facebook page) (Source: HCPD Facebook page)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – An Horry County resident has filed a lawsuit against the Horry County Police Department and two officers individually for what he claims was an improper arrest and a failure by the officers to do their jobs.

According to the lawsuit filed July 18, plaintiff Brian Little alleges assault and battery, false imprisonment, abuse of process and malicious prosecution that ultimately took place after he first contacted county law enforcement about vandalism on his property in the spring of 2014.

Lisa Bourcier, Horry County spokesperson, said it is county policy not to comment on pending litigation.

After installing camera equipment on his property, Little notified the department on May 1, 2014 he had obtained photographs of individuals coming onto his property and causing damage. The lawsuit stated he provided that evidence to the defendants.

The plaintiff alleges that investigating Officer Kenneth Kovarsky took no action other than filing a police report.

Little eventually approached the mother of one of the juveniles he had photographs of, according to court records. The son reportedly admitted he and others had vandalized the plaintiff’s property.

At Little’s request, the juvenile wrote a statement admitting to the vandalism and identifying the others involved. According to the lawsuit, that information was given to the defendants, who, “failed to investigate further and/or take any further action.”

On July 7, 2014, the plaintiff reportedly his property had again been vandalized and again reported it to law enforcement. The lawsuit alleges the defendants, including officers Kovarsky and Gregory Camp, did nothing to take action against those responsible.

A police officer later told the plaintiff there was not enough probable cause to arrest those responsible.

Little referenced the photos and the written statement provided by one of the juveniles, according to the lawsuit. He also said residents at the Gardens at Cypress Bay West had seen some of the youths allegedly vandalizing the swimming pool of the complex.

According to the court documents, an employee of the complex’s management company had given Little permission to pass out flyers in order to assist with a neighborhood watch program.

On July 19, 2014, Kovarsky confronted Little and said there would be no action taken against the alleged responsible parties, according to the lawsuit.

“When the plaintiff disagreed with defendant Kovarsky and showed him the pictures of the juveniles on his land and the damages they caused, defendant Kovarsky began shouting at the plaintiff and hitting the pictures in plaintiff’s hand shouting, ‘Show me what they did; tell me what they did right here; show me what they did right here; show me what they did right here,” the lawsuit stated.

Kovarsky also reportedly told Little what the juvenile said was hearsay and he would not arrest the youth, who was listed as 14 years of age in the court documents.

The defendant also told the plaintiff he could not display a poster on the Gardens property, despite Little telling Kovarsky he had permission to do so, according to court documents.

“Defendant Kovarsky then told plaintiff that he was, ‘fixin to go to jail for harassment; you understand that?’” the lawsuit stated.

Kovarsky later told Little he was under arrest and Camp was asked to frisk him.

“During the frisking of the plaintiff, defendant Camp grabbed the plaintiff’s genitals and forcibly yanked them, thereby causing the plaintiff serious bodily injury, pain and suffering, the lawsuit stated.

Little was listed in the lawsuit as being arrested for second-degree harassment. A jury trial called for Nov. 1, 2015 was dismissed and ended in favor of the plaintiff, according to the lawsuit.

Through the lawsuit, the plaintiff asked for actual damages in a sum sufficient to compensate him for his injuries and damages.

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