Bank hostage's suit against Cary police dismissed
Posted April 11, 2013
Cary, N.C. — A judge has dismissed a Cary man's lawsuit against local police stemming from his treatment during a hostage situation at a bank two years ago.
Police say that Devon Mitchell, 19, claimed to have a gun and held as many as seven people hostage at a Wachovia bank on Feb. 10, 2011. He let five hostages, including Rev. Lee Everett, leave over the course of three hours.
As he escaped, Everett said, police mistook him for the hostage-taker. He said officers immediately jumped him, kneed him in the back and neck and forced him to ground.
Everett said he yelled that he was a hostage, but police didn't realize he wasn't the suspect until they had dragged him across the parking lot and over a fence.
His lawsuit claimed that he was treated differently than the six white hostages because police knew that the gunman was black.
Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway this week granted Cary's motion that the suit be dismissed.
"Confidence in our officers and the actions they took during the hostage crisis has never wavered, and while this lawsuit has been an ordeal, it has not diverted anyone’s focus from the real tragedy of that day.” Town Attorney Christine Simpson said in a statement.
“As with all allegations, we thoroughly investigated Mr. Everett’s complaints. We found them to be false then and appreciate that the judge agrees with us now that his charges against our officers were without merit," Police Chief Pat Bazemore said in a statement.
The standoff at the bank on Green Level Church Road ended when Mitchell left the bank holding what appeared to be a gun to the head of a woman and was shot and killed by law enforcement.