Family Threatens to Sue Cumberland Sheriff's Department
Posted December 3, 1998
FAYETTEVILLE — A 65-year-old Cumberland County woman is threatening legal action against the Sheriff's Department for an injury she suffered during a drug raid.
Dovie Locklear suffered burns and cuts when SWAT team members stormed her son's house, and she may have to sue to get the county to pay her medical bills.
Locklear was visiting her son when SWAT team members threw a flashbang into the home. Sheriff's officials say she was injured when she fell down. However, Locklear insists she never fell down. She claims the device hurt her. She also says authorities threw her down when they came in.
"They just came in the door and knocked everything over, and I just went over on the floor," Locklear said. "He came over and he kept me down. He wouldn't let me get up."
The 65-year-old diabetic needed 16 stitches in her knee and two IVs after her cut became infected.
"It makes me mad, to tell you the truth," Locklear's husband J.D. said. "I just didn't like it, and that's the reason I'm trying to do something about it."
The Locklears say they know their son messes with drugs, and they have unsuccessfully tried to help him. Despite his problems, they do not believe they should be liable if this happens when a mother visits her son.
"What would make it right to me is if they came and apologized to me, and paid her bills and for her pain and suffering," J.D. said.
The Locklears say they have had to pay less than $100, but it is money this fixed income couple cannot afford.
Sheriff's officials would not comment on the issue. County attorneys would not talk about it either, at least not until legal action is filed.
After the drug bust deputies charged Locklear's son with several misdemeanor drug offenses.