The ordeal began when a 71-year-old investigator for the Raleigh Attorney’s Office attempted to serve Sheriff Tracey Carter with a court subpoena in a civil suit. Robert Wade said he was unable to serve the subpoena at the police department, so instead, he went to Carter’s home.
However, Carter did not open the door for the investigator. Wade alleges that just as he was leaving, the sheriff walked out of the house and blocked his truck. Apparently hell-bent on not being served, Carter then sent for his deputies to arrest the investigator for trespassing and for holding a concealed weapon. Wade was then held on a $20,000 bond.
Raleigh attorney Kieran Shenahan argued before Judge Terrence Boyle that the arrest aimed to obstruct the service of subpoena. Boyle subsequently signed the restraining order against the sheriff and his deputies, who are now being forced to testify in the upcoming civil suit against the sheriff’s department.
The suit was filed by Steven Wayne Thomas who accused deputies of unlawfully using a Taser on him and beating him. It is expected to go to trial on June 2.
"In the environment we live in now where police are under scrutiny for acting out and misbehaving you would think that a sheriff in North Carolina would comply with the law and accept a simple service of a piece of paper," Shenahan told ABC11.
"I don’t think a federal judge would have done such a thing if he didn’t also share my concern about a sheriff who’s confused between enforcing the law and thinking they are above the law."