Lawsuit: Man whose car broke down says he was wrongly arrested after Stafford Co. deputy asks for ID

- A broken-down car led to an Alexandria man's arrest last year in Stafford County and now he is suing the deputy who arrested him.

The encounter happened early in the morning on April 14, 2017 while George Wingate was working as a rideshare driver, according to his attorney, Victor Glasberg.

When Wingate's check engine light came on, he pulled over to the side of the road and a deputy pulled up behind him to ask if he needed help, according to dash cam video released by Glasberg.

Wingate declined the deputy's help, but things escalated when Stafford County Sheriff's Deputy S.A. Fulford, named in the lawsuit, asked to see Wingate's driver's license.

"Am I free to go?" Wingate asked. "No," deputy Fulford responded.

"Am I being detained? If I'm not being detained then I'm free to go," Wingate continued.

"You're not free to go until you identify yourself to me," said Fulford, according to the dash cam video recording.

Glasberg maintains in the federal lawsuit that Wingate's detention and eventual arrest for refusing to show identification violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

"This is a very modest and happily non-lethal example of overreaching police behavior without justification aimed at young black males," said Glasberg.

At one point during the video, a second deputy alludes to recent thefts of catalytic converters in the area and questions why Wingate is there.

What isn't on the video that Glasberg provided to FOX 5 is later in the encounter when Wingate runs away from deputies. Glasberg said his client was scared of what would happen next.

All charges against Wingate were dropped and Glasberg said the judge took the unusual step of telling prosecutors not to bring the charges again.

Wingate's lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

The Stafford County Sheriff's Office told FOX 5 they do not comment on pending lawsuits. They did not respond to FOX 5's questions about whether or not either deputy on the scene faced any discipline over the arrest.

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