Former detective’s son sues Horry police, claims false arrest

The Sun News file photo

The son of a former police detective is suing the Horry County Police Department claiming that officers arrested him on false charges of participating in a fight at a St. James High School basketball game to humiliate the youth.

Joshua Allan Large says he was wrongly accused of participating in the fight with students from Conway High School, and that he was trying to break up the altercation that occurred on Dec. 2, 2014.

Large’s lawyer, Bonnie Travaglio Hunt, said they tried to resolve the issue with the Horry County Police Department before filing the lawsuit Monday, but could not reach an agreement.

Large is the son of former Detective Troy Allen Large, who was fired from the police department in July after an internal investigation accused the former officer of sexual harassment. Large is also the target of two lawsuits against the police department, claiming he sexually assaulted two women and encouraged them to participate in catfight videos.

The son is suing the police department, as well as former Police Chief Saundra Rhodes, the investigating officer Kenneth Marcus, the arresting officers Tina Vaught and Stan Strickland, former Deputy Chief Scott Rutherford and Public Information Officer Raul Denis.

Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier declined to comment on the lawsuit. “It is county policy not to provide any commentary relating to any pending litigation,” she said.

Cody Thomas Toomer, another student who was arrested with Joshua Large, is also suing the department for wrongful arrest. The lawsuit says his father is a law enforcement officer in Horry County, but Hunt could not confirm with which agency he is employed.

According to Large’s lawsuit, the altercation with Conway school students was captured on video by one bystander, as well as on the school’s security cameras, and contradict the claims against them.

Officer Kenneth Marcus failed and refused to conduct a full investigation into the incident.

Lawsuit against Horry County Police Department

Large says he and others were harassed during the ballgame by Conway students, and saw the fight outside as he was leaving.

An incident report was filed by Marcus the following day and Large was suspended from school for two days.

“Officer Kenneth Marcus failed and refused to conduct a full investigation into the incident,” the lawsuit said. “Marcus failed to question any persons involved, the principal and the individuals he arrested.”

Large was not arrested until 10 days after the fight occurred, and the lawsuit says he was arrested at school “in order to embarrass, humiliate and damage his reputation in the community.”

The lawsuit says that Large’s “father was a police officer with the Horry County Police Department at the time and would have surrendered his son at the station. However, the defendants refused to provide this option and intentionally performed acts in order to receive public recognition.”

The lawsuit says that as a result of the police department’s actions, Large and Toomer suffered from severe emotional distress, and they are asking the court to award them financial damages for future lost wages.

Audrey Hudson: 843-444-1765, @AudreyHudson

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