State troopers accused of violating man’s civil rights in Grand Isle stabbing incident

By Louisiana Record reports | Apr 21, 2014

GRETNA – A man who claims he was the victim of a knife attack is suing the Louisiana State Police alleging their officers wrongfully opened an investigation into him as the aggressor.

Jhett Brunet filed suit against Master Trooper Craig Guidry, State Trooper Charity Knoblock and Sgt. Heath Guillotte in the 24th Judicial District Court on March 26.

Brunet alleges that his civil rights were violated by the defendants after he broke up a fight in the early morning hours of June 19, 2011 at at Grand Isle residence. The plaintiff claims that four 19-year-old men, including Galen Santiny, Wade Scioneaux, Seth Duplantis and an unknown friend of Duplantis, were fighting at a private residence at 2 a.m. and that Frederick Burton, an older gentleman, became involved in the altercation and attacked Scioneaux with a knife. Brunet asserts that Scioneaux had badly beaten Burton, breaking his nose and damaging his eye socket, and knocked him to the ground when he stepped in to stop the attack.

Brunet alleges that as he broke up the fight Burton stabbed him with the knife, which he had also used to stab Scioneaux, and in turn he broke a beer bottle over Burton’s head. Brunet asserts Burton was later taken to the hospital and an investigation by the Grand Isle Police Department determined Brunet had acted in self-defense as well as in the defense of others and that Burton was found to be the aggressor.

The plaintiff claims Burton later called his friend, Trooper Guidry, who determined the earlier investigation was insufficient and opened a State Police investigation into the matter. Brunet asserts that the defendants concocted an investigation that resulted in him being charged with aggravated battery. The plaintiff alleges that eye witnesses to the event were threatened by the defendants into making statements against him.

The defendant is accused of charging the plaintiff with a crime he did not commit, exonerating the true perpetrator and violating his civil rights.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for mental anguish, loss of wages and attorney’s fees.

Brunet is represented by attorney Robert T. Garrity Jr. of Harahan.

The case has been assigned to Division L Judge Donald A. Rowan Jr.

Case no. 736-851.

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