Man shot during Florence traffic stop files suit against constable, city of Florence

Man shot during Florence traffic stop files suit against constable, city of Florence
Brandon Fludd was shot 3 times by constable Christopher Bachochin during a traffic stop

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) – A Florence man shot by a state constable in 2018 during a traffic stop has filed a lawsuit against both the constable and the city of Florence.

In the lawsuit filed March 23, Brandon Fludd alleges that Christopher Bachochin used excessive force when he opened fire during that March 24, 2018 traffic stop.

RELATED COVERAGE:

AG: State constable ‘entitled to immunity from prosecution’ following March shooting

Bachochin was riding with a Florence police officer when they initiated a traffic stop on a Cadillac in the area of Waverly Avenue and Sunset Drive for driving left of the center lane, the letter says.

Fludd, who was the driver, alleges that he tried to comply with officer commands and requests, however, he refused to step out of the vehicle when asked, according to the lawsuit.

At one point, dash cam footage shows Fludd putting the car in reverse and driving away while officers were in the path of the vehicle. Bachochin fired multiple shots, hitting Fludd four times. He was taken to McLeod Regional Medical Center for treatment. A urinalysis found cocaine, opiates and cannabinoids in Fludd's system, according to a letter from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.

In the lawsuit, Fludd states no officers were in the path of the vehicle or in harm’s way. Court documents also state that when he was interviewed by agents with the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division, Bachochin said he was “briefly struck by the vehicle on his knee.”

“The vehicle did not strike Defendant Bachochin, and the body camera videos available clearly show Defendant Bachochin reach out toward the vehicle, touch it with his hand, and then back up prior to his beginning to shoot at the vehicle multiple times,” the lawsuit states.

The SCAG’s letter states, in part, that Bachochin is immune to prosecution because he "subjectively believed he and his fellow officers were in actual imminent danger" when Fludd backed up his car to escape.

According to the plaintiff, he has incurred monetary damages in excess of $100,000 related to the shooting. He said he suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, shoulder, knee and forearm.

“At no point in time were any of the officers in the trajectory of Plaintiff’s vehicle without them purposefully moving towards it. Other than Bachochin, no other Florence PD officers fired at the vehicle because they knew they were not authorized to do so under the circumstances.”

Fludd is asking for an undisclosed amount of damages in the lawsuit. A jury trial has also been requested.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.