Bluffton man involved in fall standoff continues federal case to get seized guns

February 12, 2013 

Beaufort County Sheriff S.W.A.T. team members return to their vehicles shortly after 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon following the peaceful surrender of a man who had barricaded himself in a house on Woods Bay Road in the Parkside development in Bluffton. Police received a phone call that the man was threatening to kill himself at around 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

DELAYNA EARLEY THE ISLAND PACKET

A Bluffton man whose weapons were seized by police after they said he threatened to harm himself and others last fall has added new elements to his federal lawsuit in an attempt to get his guns and knives back.

Anthony Valentino, 35, alleges that the Bluffton Police Department subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment in September, in addition to violating his constitutional rights by taking his weapons.

Police confiscated pistols, rifles and knives from Valentino’s Woods Bay Road home Sept. 12 after a standoff, which began when neighbors told officers that Valentino said he planned to harm himself, the mother of his child and his dog, according to a police report.

The amended lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges Valentino was shackled with his hands and feet together for more than 10 hours and was denied access to water, an attorney or a phone call when he was detained under a Probate Court order.

He was not charged with a crime, but he was ordered to undergo involuntary emergency hospitalization at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. The amended lawsuit said that after six days of treatment, Valentino was handed a $14,000 medical bill.

The lawsuit, amended to add additional Bluffton police officers as plaintiffs, demands a refund of that bill, the return of Valentino’s weapons and any other damages the court deems necessary.

Check back with The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette for more updates to this story. Follow reporter Allison Stice at twitter.com/IPBG_Allison.

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