Man suing Leon County Sheriff’s Office after 2018 arrest

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 6:25 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A man who was arrested for drug possession, resisting an officer with violence, and battery on a law enforcement officer in 2018 is now suing the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and an individual deputy.

Miles Evora’s lawsuit includes counts of false arrest or imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligence, negligent training, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery.

According to Leon County Sheriff’s Office probable cause arrest records, on December 18, 2018, Evora was pulled over after rolling through a stop sign; Evora contends that he did not roll through the sign.

Evora believes a deputy was just looking to make an arrest.

The arrest records say the deputy noted Evora seemed nervous, spurring him to request consent to search the vehicle.

“I asked why he wanted to search it and he said ‘Well you seem pretty nervous,’” Evora explained. “And I was nervous because I knew I didn’t run the stop sign.”

Evora ultimately consented to a search of his vehicle.

The deputy found what he believed to be crack cocaine.

“So as I’m talking to him, the other deputy grabbed me; he grabbed my right arm, he grabbed my left arm, and they both took me down,” says Evora. “They tased me. While I was being tased, the other deputy kneed me, bruised my ribs, and he also punched me in the face.’”

Evora was taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, and then booked into jail.

LCSO arrest records say the field test kit came back with positive results for cocaine after Evora was in custody on scene.

However, eight months later, in August of 2019, a test by FDLE showed the substance was sugar.

Evora says he knows exactly what it was.

“I like to eat Danishes, in the morning time -- well, not anymore. But, when he showed that to me, I knew it was icing off a Danish. But I couldn’t prove it at the time,” he said.

Evora was represented by attorney Anabelle Dias, who he says “defended me like she was my mom, my grandma.” In addition to FDLE’s tests, independent testing by Evora’s attorneys also confirmed the substance was sugar.

The State Attorney’s office dropped all charges in December of 2019, writing “While there was probable cause for Mr. Evora’s arrest, FDLE testing determined the white crystal-like substance was not an illegal substance. Therefore, the State announces a Nolle Prosequi and shall pursue this matter no further.”

Evora says the arrest had long-term impact.

“I lost a $50,000 contract with the Apalachee Center,” he says. “I spent a lot of money on attorneys fees.”

Evora is being represented by Paul Aloise and Ryan Molaghan at Brooks, LeBoeuf.

“We just want to make sure that the Leon County Sheriff’s Office is held accountable for their actions on December 18th, 2018, and we want to ensure that nobody else has to go through what Mr. Evora has gone through,” says Aloise.

“We understand that as community members we cannot just accept the fact that wrongful arrests are the status quo in Leon County,” adds Molaghan.

Evora says he was naive before the arrest, but his opinion has now changed.

“I feel like you don’t have to be doing anything wrong; they can just pull you over. And they have all the power. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are good police officers out there, and we need good police officers. But we’re not talking about them, are we? We’re not talking about the ones who protect and serve the citizens; we’re talking about the ones who contaminate the truth,” says Evora.

The lawsuit is in the Leon County Circuit Court; the Leon County Sheriff’s Office tells WCTV it is their policy not to comment on pending litigation.

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