A Florida man is suing the Brevard County sheriff for defamation after he was included on the sheriff's "Wheel of Fugitive" videos, saying that this cost him a job and caused emotional distress, CBS News reports.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey releases a series of videos on social media called "Wheel of Fugitive" in which he spins a wheel displaying photos of people that he describes as 10 of the most wanted fugitives in the county. After spinning the wheel, Ivey explains the charges against whichever person's photo lands at the top.
In one video released last week, Ivey says, "You know how it works: All 10 people up here have warrants for their arrest. We want to get them off the street and safely behind bears where they can't victimize anyone else."
A disclaimer does scroll across the screen at one point stating in part that "the suspects may have since been arrested or their alleged charges otherwise resolved or dismissed."
David Gay filed a lawsuit in state court last week over his photo's inclusion in a "Wheel of Fugitive" video, saying that after the video aired, a prospective employer called him while driving into his first day of work and told him not to come in because he had seen the video.
Gay previously pleaded no contest to a felony battery charge in 2020 and was sentenced to three years on probation. He was later arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery, charges that were eventually dismissed by prosecutors, but Gay was arrested for violating probation by being arrested for battery and was actually in Brevard County Jail at the time that the "Wheel of Fugitive" video was released, according to The Washington Post.
"The lawsuit was filed because right is right, and wrong is wrong," attorney, Jessica Travis, who is representing Gay in the lawsuit, said in a statement to the press. "The wheel shouldn't be padded with people who are not fugitives. No one has the right to cause compliant citizens to lose their jobs or live in fear of confrontation or arrest; not even the sheriff."
A spokesperson for the sheriff's office did not respond to CBS News' request for comment on Monday.
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