In June 2003 an attorney for Chad DeBolt ‘03, ’03MBA informed officials of his intent to sue the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for personal injuries and civil rights violations. Florida law mandates that a lawsuit against a government agency cannot be filed until six months after such a notification letter is sent.
According to DeBolt, officers at the Duval County Jail beat him following his arrest for trespassing at a nightclub in Jacksonville. Police said DeBolt was highly intoxicated and became violent. An internal investigation found that pepper spray and a restraint chair were used to contain him at his booking but that there was no wrongdoing on the part of police. In February 2003, prosecutors dropped the trespassing charge against DeBolt when he agreed to pay a $150 fine to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
Jacksonville city attorney Larry Pritchard said the case has been referred to the city’s risk management team to conduct an investigation and determine what action to take.