Witnesses Describe Fight Involving Ex-Wake Deputies
Posted April 2, 2007 6:57 a.m. EDT
Updated April 2, 2007 6:41 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — An assault trial for one of three former Wake County deputies accused of beating a Garner man outside a restaurant last summer began Monday.
Robert Wise said three undercover Wake County deputies -- Katie Broda, Kevin Hinton and Christopher Roth -- beat him up in front of his wife and 11-year-old daughter last August. He said the deputies were angry because he took up two parking spaces outside an Applebee's on U.S. Highway 70.
"What they did was unacceptable, inexcusable and it will not be tolerated in our community. It's wrong," Wise said.
Roth's trial began Monday with witneses testifying about the altercation.
"It did not appear to be dissipating," witness Ronald Sherwood said. "You kept waiting for it to stop, (thinking) 'OK, they'll go in and eat and be happy and go.' That never really happened. No one really left. It just kept seeming to escalate."
Wise's wife, Cynthia, cried on the witness stand as she recalled the incident. A tape of her 911 call reporting the assault also was played for the jury.
"They had him, holding him, and he was being banged up," Cynthia Wise testified. "I went around the back of the car to get a closer view, and I was told to get out of the way before I get arrested."
Hart Miles, Roth's attorney, told jurors that Robert Wise instigated the incident. They said they would present evidence to show he resisted arrest and even rolled up the car window on Roth's arm.
In September, the three deputies resigned from the Wake County Sheriff's Office. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison has since apologized for his deputies' actions.
Roth had been with the sheriff's department for nine years, Hinton for seven and Broda for five.
A charge of assaulting an officer was dismissed against Wise in December.