A South Florida man has filed suit after charges were dropped against him for a confrontation over a mask at a Walmart, the South Florida Sun Sentinel is reporting.
A July 12, 2020, surveillance video showed words exchanged at the giant retailer's store in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, between Vincent Scavetta and Christopher Estrada.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Estrada asked Scavetta to put a mask on because of the pandemic. The newspaper said Scavetta could be seen taking out his licensed Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic weapon and pointing in the direction of Estrada.
Scavetta was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, but prosecutors later declined to file charges.
The Palm Beach Post reported a spokesman for the State Attorney's office had said Scavetta could have invoked the state's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force if they believe their life is in danger. In addition, they believed the charges would not have withstood court scrutiny.
Now Scavetta has filed suit against Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw claiming defamation and malicious prosecution.
The lawsuit cites Bradshaw over social media posts his office made on Facebook and Twitter. The posts show photos of the scene inside the Walmart, along with some statements about Scavetta, the Sentinel said.
"These official statements and the comments generated ... were malicious and made with the intention to publicly humiliate, embarrass, and shame ... Scavetta," the lawsuit states.
Scavetta says these "false statements" hurt his “business, reputation, and occupation, as well as exposed him to hatred, ridicule, and contempt." The lawsuit does not specify his occupation.
The lawsuit also makes a battery claim against Estrada, alleging the shopper hit him or touched him with an umbrella.
A spokesman for Bradshaw declined comment on the lawsuit.
Estrada is quoted in the Post as saying, "If there was anything I did wrong, I would have been taken out of there in handcuffs."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.