Deputy accused of calling man ‘liberal’ before attacking him at UPS Store; Heated discussion over illegal immigration got things started

By Louisiana Record reports | Jun 18, 2015

GRETNA – A customer of a local UPS store is suing one of its employees who also is a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s reserve deputy for attacking him.

Emile Miller filed suit against Steven Berry, Roby Corporation, The UPS Store, Thomas C. Hand Jr. and Continental Casualty Company in the 24th Judicial District Court on May 4.

Miller asserts that on May 7, 2014 he was a customer at The UPS Store located at 5000 W. Esplanade Ave. in Metairie. The plaintiff claims at the time he was 64-years-old and under medical care for a back injury.

Miller alleges that during his visit to the store he waited to be served while Berry and Hand engaged in a heated discussion concerning illegal immigration. The plaintiff contends that when he was finally served by Berry he complained about the poor service and that as he was leaving Hand called out to him, “Shut up you liberal bastard” and charged him. Miller claims Hand, a weight lifter trained in law enforcement procedures who also is a reserve deputy for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, struck him and knocked him to the floor resulting in severe and disabling injuries including to his back, knee, hip and lacerations to his lip and chin.

The plaintiff asserts he called law enforcement, but Hand fled the scene before authorities arrived and that Berry refused to identify him. Further, Miller alleges Hand also failed to notify his St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office that he had been involved in the attack.

Miller contends he has had to undergo back surgery following the incident and still suffers from headaches and jaw aches.

The defendant is accused of assault and battery, failing to provide safe premises, refusing to cooperate with police and failing to install surveillance cameras to protect patrons.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, medical expenses, mental anguish, disfigurement, disability and loss of enjoyment of life.

Miller is represented by Robert T. Myers of Metairie-based Young Richard & Myers.

The case has been assigned to Division H Judge Glenn B. Ansardi.

Case no. 749-356.

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