A man says Nassau County sheriff’s deputies and Jacksonville sheriff’s officers kicked and broke his ribs and released a K-9 on him, thinking he might have been involved in the deadly shooting of Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers.
Nassau County deputies acknowledge a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office K-9 did attack Matthew Thompson. JSO told News4Jax it is looking into the incident.
Thompson has yet to file a complaint over the incident but says he’s going to talk to a lawyer.
Thompson says that the night that Moyers was shot, he was doing yard work at his uncle’s house when deputies mistook him for an accused killer.
“The night of the shooting, I was at my uncle’s house, helping him clean his yard up, and I went outside to check a fire, and next thing I knew, I had a dog on my arm and had about 10 cops beating me up and took me to the hospital and handcuffed me to the bed,” Thompson told News4Jax on Monday. “They released me yesterday.”
Thompson says he told both Nassau County deputies and Jacksonville police that he was not Patrick McDowell, the man accused of shooting and killing Moyers during a Friday morning traffic stop, multiple times, and that one of the officers pulled his wallet out of his pocket to find his driver’s license. Thompson says one of the officers told the others that they indeed had the wrong person, but he claims the physical assault continued.
“They broke three of my rib, stitches in my lip and back of my ear, I have bruises on my side, all down my leg,” Thompson said. “They mistreated me.”
Thompson says deputies took him to a hospital, where he stayed for two days while being handcuffed to his hospital bed. It wasn’t until more than 48 hours after his initial arrest that he says deputies decided to let him go.
“They accused me of being in the van and stuff and then they finally found the truth and turned me loose at the hospital,” Thompson said. “They took the handcuffs off me and told me to leave.”
Thompson says at no time did Nassau County deputies or Jacksonville police read him his rights or apologize to him for what happened. Not only is he now hoping officers clear his name, he’s also hoping he’s compensated for the physical and emotional trauma of what appears to be a case of mistaken identity.