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Cawood said sheriff's office violated his rights

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By The Staff

By DAMON LAWRENCE

dlawrence@roanecounty.com

A public apology and $10,000.

Those are some of the things attorney Chris Cawood asked for in a letter he addressed to Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton.

The overture stems from Cawood’s arrest at the courthouse last week.

Cawood represents Constable Mark Patton. The two men entered the courthouse shortly before 9 a.m. May 19 for Patton’s ouster trial.

Patton, who has several criminal charges pending against him, tried to slip pass a security checkpoint with a box. He was stopped by sheriff’s deputy Terry Stooksbury.

That’s when Cawood used profanity and became unruly. Moments later, he was hemmed in a corner by deputies, handcuffed, taken to jail and charged with resisting arrest.

Cawood claims the arrest was a violation of his civil rights and that he was publicly humiliated.

In his letter, he also demands that the deputies who subdued him be fired.

“Those officers need to be better trained,” Cawood said. “They didn’t follow procedures.”

“I don’t know what procedures he’s talking about,” Stockton countered.

“As far as I know after looking at all the reports and information that I’ve gathered, it looks like everything was handled properly.”

Cawood moonlights as an author. His conflicts with a previous sheriff’s administration was documented in his 2005 book, “Sex, Lies, and Videotape.”

Some have speculated that Cawood’s behavior at the courthouse was a ploy to get a continuance or material for another book.

When asked about the incident, Cawood only made a few brief comments before referring all other questions to attorney Pat Cooley.  

Stockton is standing by his deputies. He said the situation might have worked out differently had Cawood chosen to communicate better with courthouse officials.

“We just have to react to whatever is going on in front of us and respond to whatever action is being taken against us, so I don’t see anything that they (deputies) did wrong,” Stockton said.

The ouster trial was postponed. No new date has been set.

Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland said the attorneys are scheduled to have a conference with Circuit Court Judge Russell Simmons on June 1.

McFarland and District Attorney General Russell Johnson filed the ouster suit against Patton in January.

Johnson and McFarland contend Patton is a menace to Roane County, having threatened members of the law enforcement community, elected officials and others.