make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Brunswick County Sheriff's Department sued by former inmate

READ MORE: Brunswick County Sheriff's Department sued by former inmate

The Brunswick County Sheriff's Department is getting sued after a former inmate says he was stripped, pepper-sprayed, and beaten by jailers. The inmate, Damien Guarniere, has video of the event and he's posted it on youTube. Guarniere says he was pulled over for running a stop sign in Ocean Isle Beach. The lawsuit says police tested his blood alcohol level and arrested Guarniere despite blowing a .06 within the legal limit. Guarniere says he never should have been put in jail in the first place, let alone treated like this. Damien Guarniere said the incident took place in September of 2007 and as a result, Guarniere was jailed for almost three months. He was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer. In May of this year a jury found him not guilty. Guarniere says he sued for the entire surveillance tape but only received a portion of the video. Earlier this month he filed a lawsuit against Brunswick County, three sheriff's deputies, former Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett, an Ocean Isle Beach police officer and the Town of Ocean Isle Beach. He is accusing them of wrongful detention, battery, negligence, and is seeking financial compensation for his trouble. We tried to contact the Brunswick County Attorney, the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department, and the Town of Ocean Isle Beach but our phone calls were not returned. Guarniere's lawyer Mark Lewis told us the lawsuit contains all of the allegations and declined further comment.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


I don't like drunks on the

I don't like drunks on the road any more than the rest of you, but this guy was not convicted of any of the charges from this incident. A judge or jury saw the video, heard the testimony of the officers, and reviewed any breathalyzer results, then reached a verdict of not guilty. This is a pretty good inidcation that the guy shouldn't have been in jail, and that very likely the jail staff overreacted. If I were a betting man, I'd say the county and city will end up writing a big check to this guy. Sounds like he wasn't drunk, but instead was rude to the officers so they arrested him anyway and taught him a lesson in jail. The old south lives on. I'm not saying he was a model citizen, but the last offense date on the DOC page is over 10 years old. You can blow a .06 after maybe two beers. That is hardly what I would consider drunk.


of all..YOU GOT WHAT YOU DESERVED for driving drunk.... .06 or not... I'd rather you go to jail, get beat and DIE than to be on the roads like you a DRUNK IDIOT. Your lucky all you got was a face full of pepper spray and your rear end beat...evidently...your parents didn't do ENOUGH rear end's time you got caught up!

i can't believe you would

i can't believe you would say the things you said about and die if this person soul was lost it would matter to me maybe he was drinking and i don't like drinking nomore than anyone else i have two children and i don't want a drunk drive to hit them but i do care about a lost soul and i do care how i brunswick county officers handle other people some times they have a big head and try to use to much power with their job

OIB jail

In reply to your comments. You are scary. I can see someone like you siging up for Hitlers ideals. Laws are here to protect us from each other and our own goverments. You assume you will never be the one mistreated. I think you are clueless and could very well be the next person to be taught a lesson.

Few problems with his story.

Few problems with his story. First, even if you don't blow over the limit but are found to be too impaired to drive then they will hold you until you sober up or someone can pick you up. Secondly, this gentleman fails to mention the fact he was charged with assaulting jail staff in earlier this decade in New Hanover and also has a nice rap sheet to follow him. It's taken two years for him to come up and say anything, no sympathy.

Guarniere Lawsuit

I am a citizen of Brunswick County and don't believe that we should take the word of a 5 time convicted felon over the many officers shown in this video. Go to and put in his name. I guess the other convictions were not his fault either. I solute our deputies in Brunswick County. They shouldn't have to worry about lies and lawsuits when in the line of duty. How do we expect them to put their lives on the line to protect us if they fear suits from the likes of this felon.

criminal records

To hdevans, Your post implies that anyone can look up a criminal record at, but it only goes on to sites that charge for the info. I have accessed criminal record info (also after seeing a site named in this forum) previously but not at this address. What is the address for FREE public info on criminal records?

Try this link... directly to

Try this link... directly to NC Dept of Corrections.

Go here

Use this link