Crime

Horry police wrongfully detained, harassed him in child custody battle, lawsuit says

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A man says Horry County police continued to harass and prevent him from seeing his children despite a shared custody order, and now he is suing the agency for its actions.

This week, Martin Hensley filed suit against Horry County police, three officers, the mother of his children and one of her family members.

The suit says Hensley had a custody agreement with the children’s mother in Indiana. She moved the children to the Myrtle Beach area in 2014, which the suit says, was against the order.

Two years later the woman started to file “false” police reports claiming that Hensley was harassing her and the children, the suit states. One of the children and the relative also filed police reports saying Hensley harassed them.

Hensley and the woman also entered into another visitation agreement that spanned September 2016 through the summer of 2017, the suit states.

Despite that, the mother continued to file police reports.

Horry County police told the family that there were no threats as long as the family responded to Hensley’s messages. Officers also told her to go to family court to get an order from an Horry County judge, the suit states.

The mother stopped following the order, while continuing to file police reports, according to the suit.

In early 2017, Officer Henneman — there is no first name listed in the lawsuit and it says the officer might also be known as Officer Burroughs — called Hensley. Hensley tried to return the call several times, but the officer never responded.

One day, when Hensley went to pick up the children at Carolina Forest area schools, Henneman called and threatened to arrest him for kidnapping, according to the filing.

Hensley provided a copy of the court order allowing visitation, but Henneman detained Hensley, the suit states. The officer also told Hensley he didn’t care about the court order.

The suit says there were several other times where Henneman threatened to arrest Hensley if he interfered with the mother’s custody.

The filing also states that Horry County police refused to follow the court-ordered custody agreement based on the mother’s statements.

Hensley said the officers and the department violated his civil rights, harassed him and illegally detained him. It asks for an unspecified amount of damages.

Horry County police spokeswoman Mikayla Moskov said it’s county policy not to comment on pending legal matters.

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