An Atlanta man was severely beaten and hospitalized after a cop working as a security guard beat him with a baton over a tomato he had purchased.
After Tyrone Carnegay was hospitalized and cuffed to a hospital bed with a broken leg and a severed artery, Atlanta police took him to jail, where he spent three days before the charges were dropped.
“He got whacked seven or eight times across the shin and actually broke both bones, both the fibula and the tibula,” Carnegay’s lawyer, Craig Jones said, told the New York Daily News.
“This tomato not only cost him the dollar they overcharged him. It also cost him over $75,000 in medical bills, which I intend to get them to pay many times over.”
According to Jones, a security employee saw Carnegay get back into the checkout line so he could get a refund but then decided not to and proceeded to exit the store on Oct. 12th, 2014.
Assuming he’d stolen the tomato, the employee went to Trevor King about it, the Atlanta cop who was moonlighting as a security guard that night.
Without asking him for a receipt, King approached and beat Carnegay.
Carnegay described the beating to WSB-TV as he watched the video of himself being beaten.
“He’s giving me a verbal command. As he’s grabbing me, he’s beating me at the same time. ‘Get on ground!’ Beating me at the same time.”
Carnegay was struck by King’s baton at least seven times.
“Somebody could have come up to him and said, ‘Excuse me sir, do you have (a) receipt for that tomato?’ and he would’ve shown him the receipt,” Jones told WSB-TV. “The officer went into Robocop mode and beat the crap out of him.”
A spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department referred to an incident report that said Carnegay pushed his way past the loss prevention officer as well as King when he was asked to return the stolen items that he had purchased.
King stated he beat Carnegay with his baton only after he ignored his commands to get on the ground and said that Carnegay pulled on King’s gun belt during the struggle.
However, that’s not what the video shows.
“When he found the receipt and the money and everything, he just stared at it like he hadn’t done nothing,” said Carnegay.
Carnegay is now suing. His lawsuit names officer King, Walmart and other Walmart employees.
A spokesperson for Walmart said, “we take the matter seriously. We will review the allegations once we’ve been served and we will respond appropriately with the court.”
A representative for the Atlanta Police Department said the city has not yet been served with a lawsuit.