West Ashley man who sued sheriff’s office over traffic stop assault arrested on gun charge
It was another trip to jail for the man who received a $250,000 settlement in a civil suit against the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office after a deputy was accused of assaulting him.
Devante Antwan Pittman, 20, of West Ashley was arrested by the Charleston Police Department Thursday on a charge of unlawfully carrying a gun at the Citadel Mall.
A police officer found the handgun in Pittman’s pants pocket after frisking him, according to an incident report. Pittman had been at the Manhattan department store trying to purchase merchandise, but his card was declined, according to the report.
Pittman became aggressive and verbally abused the cashier, the report stated. When an officer arrived, the store clerk pointed Pittman out as he was at the Jimmy Jazz department store.
When the officer approached him and began speaking to him, Pittman “started to sweat on his forehead, looking at the ground while he was talking and reaching into his pockets,” according to the officer.
When the officer frisked him, he found a fully loaded revolver in his pocket. Pittman does not have a concealed weapons permit, according to the report.
A magistrate judge set a $50,000 bail for the charge.
On Nov. 11, Pittman was roughed up by Christopher Davis, who was a sheriff’s deputy at the time, according to investigators.
A video from a sheriff’s cruiser depicted the traffic stop off Orleans Road, the street where Pittman lives. Deputies said Pittman was stopped for not using a turn signal.
The camera footage showed Davis reaching into Pittman’s Dodge Charger with a flashlight in his hand. Pittman told authorities that Davis started hitting him with the flashlight for no reason.
Davis and his attorney, Andy Savage of Charleston, maintained that Pittman first grabbed the deputy, so the lawman fought back in self-defense.
Deputies pulled Pittman from the car. As he keeled over, Davis delivered several uppercut punches to his face, and Pittman said he lost a tooth.
Davis left his post as a patrol deputy in April, two years after he was sworn in.
As part of an agreement in a civil lawsuit that Pittman filed against him and the Sheriff’s Office, the county paid $250,000 in damages for the pain Pittman said he suffered and the medical bills he incurred.
Pittman also faces a charge of third-degree assault and battery in connection with the November incident. That count remains pending.
It was his first arrest, but in late March, he was nabbed on charges of receiving stolen goods, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and second-degree assault and battery.
In that incident, a man told the Charleston police that he had recently bought a car from Pittman, but he later saw Pittman driving that car, a report stated. When the man tried to confront Pittman about the car, he said, Pittman pointed a gun at him.