A Charleston man who was arrested while mourning his slain son last year has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was maliciously prosecuted, falsely arrested, falsely imprisoned and that his civil rights were violated.
Corey Gabe, 49, was charged with being a pedestrian on the highway and assaulting a police officer, but those charges were later dropped.
Gabe spent 24 hours in lockup before he was released, and his family was unable to make proper plans for a quick funeral service, according to the court filing.
Named in his complaint are the city of Charleston, the Police Department, Chief Luther Reynolds and officer Corey Stratton.
Gabe's son Corey Gabe Jr. was killed Feb. 4, 2018. The man arrested in Gabe Jr.'s death, Taylin Greene, was charged with murder and possessing a firearm while carrying out a violent crime. His case is pending and he remains in lockup at the Charleston County Detention Center.
Greene told police he shot Gabe Jr. in self-defense because Gabe Jr. followed him as he drove along Hazelwood Drive. Responding officers found Gabe Jr. injured and he was transported to Medical University Hospital where he died.
Two days later, friends and family gathered at their Hazelwood Drive home to mourn. At one point, Gabe Sr. became overwhelmed and went for a walk, according to the lawsuit.
While walking on the street and headed back home, a family friend saw Gabe and rode alongside him slowly to keep him company.
A police report of the incident says Stratton was sitting in a parking lot on Hazelwood Drive around 11:30 a.m. when he saw Gabe walking down the middle of the road. Two cars were behind Gabe. One motorist honked the car horn at Gabe, who continued to walk in front of the car. The motorist waved to Stratton to assist. The officer pulled onto Hazelwood Drive and got out of his car.
Charleston police officers arrested a 25-year-old Hanahan man in connection with a June homicide on the city's East Side.
Gabe refused to cooperate with Stratton and the confrontation escalated outside Gabe's home. Gabe claims Stratton held up his department-issued pepper spray and threatened to use it on his family. Gabe claims Stratton kicked in the front door to his home, aggressively grabbed him from inside the home and pulled him outside.
The incident was recorded on Stratton's body camera, which the department said it will not release.
The Charleston Police Department found Stratton, who has been with the department since June 2015, violated the department's resistance and aggression decision-making policy. He was suspended for 20 hours and attended remedial training, according to department spokesperson Charles Francis. He had no prior disciplinary history with the department.
Charleston police declined to comment further on the lawsuit.
Gabe claims he suffered physical injury and harm as well as physical and mental pain and suffering. He is seeking punitive damage and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. He has requested a jury trial.
Gabe Sr. has been arrested by the city and county Sheriff's Office dating back to 1989, with charges ranging from trespassing, multiple criminal domestic violence charges, multiple assault and battery charges, multiple driving under the influence charges, and possession with the intention to distribute crack, among others.
Both Gabe and his attorney declined to comment.