Suit filed against Richmond County deputies for excessive force

A Hephzibah man arrested by Richmond County sheriff’s deputies two years ago is filing suit against Augusta-Richmond County and the deputies for using what he says was excessive force and unauthorized deadly force during his arrest.

Maurice Thomas alleges that deputies Mathew Sides and Jason Broome broke three bones in his face when they used a baton to subdue him near a home in the 3000 block of Barclay Street in Hephzibah.

Sides is the deputy who was fired last year and sentenced to five years’ probation for threatening a woman with jail time if she didn’t remove her clothes.

According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court this week, Sides alleged that Thomas fled, resisted arrest and was immune to a burst of pepper spray, so Sides hit him several times with his baton. Thomas claims he ran because the deputies cursed at him and threatened to kill him, then beat him after restraining him without probable cause.

The deputies were responding to a domestic violence call. Thomas pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor family violence charges a month later and was sentenced to a year’s probation.

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