MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — A Panama City Beach man who pleaded no contest to burglary and grand theft of a motor vehicle says he was beaten by a Jackson County Sheriff’s deputy after he surrendered.
Christopher Schurman was also charged with resisting an officer without violence in the April 2019 incident. Schurman filed a lawsuit against the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Trevor Lee, and Sheriff Donnie Edenfield. Lee now works for the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. Edenfield was not sheriff when the incident occurred.
Schurman’s lawyer, Marie Mattox, said Schurman was hiding from deputies under a fallen tree when they spotted him. He immediately complied with verbal commands and posed no threat to the deputies, she added.
But instead of taking him into custody, Lee and other deputies punched Schurman in the face, ribs, and lower back, and also hit him with an unknown object, Mattox wrote. After the beating Schurman heard one of the deputies say, “He is lucky I didn’t shoot him,” Mattox wrote.
She added that deputies took him to the jail but jail officials would not admit Lee in his injured state. Schurman had three broken bones in his face and required stitches and facial reconstruction surgery, Mattox wrote.
However, in a motion to dismiss attorney Alyssa Yarbrough argues that Lee did not use excessive force during the arrest.
“Here we are dealing with a reasonable use of force, which is justified,” when dealing with a fleeing suspect,” she wrote.
You can read the official complaint and motion to dismiss below: