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.
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