The federal civil trial in the case of a Fort Mill race driver who claims deputies used excessive force when they beat, choked and kicked him in front of thousands of fans at a Chester County dirt track five years ago has been delayed yet again.
The trial was supposed to start Wednesday, but the three deputies – who no longer work for the Chester County Sheriff’s Office – appealed a judge’s refusal to dismiss the lawsuit, court documents show.
In his order, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Anderson wrote that the “law is clearly established that an arrestee, after being clearly subdued and handcuffed, should not be subjected to continued blows by the fist.”
Randy Smith alleges that after a wreck in a Sept. 12, 2009, race, he pointed his finger at a driver who caused him to crash. The deputies working security tackled, choked, punched, kicked and shouted obscenities at him, Smith claims.
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Smith was arrested for assault, but that charge was later dismissed. Citing injuries from the alleged beating, Smith filed the federal lawsuit alleging excessive force.
The deputies’ lawyer has declined comment. In court documents, the deputies maintain that they were protecting themselves after Smith approached the other driver’s car in Victory Lane following the race, then spun around to confront the officers.
Dennis Bolt, Smith’s attorney, said the appeal to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could take months.