Civil Liberties

Deputy Attacked Attorney Over Client's Toy

He questioned the cop's authority


A sheriff's deputy on courthouse detail brutalized a 66-year-old attorney after finding a child's toy wrench in the purse of his client's family member, the attorney claims in court.

Richard Berman sued Fresno County, four of its sheriff's officers and the Judicial Council of California, in Superior Court. The individual defendants are Deputy T. Sink, Sgt. George Bertsch, Lt. John Reynolds, and Sheriff Margaret Mims.

Berman claims Sink manhandled him after ordering the client's family member to throw away the toy, and Berman told her she could take it back to her car instead.

The complaint states: "As Berman, his client, and her family member were in the process of going through the security entrance checkpoint, Deputy Sink detected a 1.2 oz. child's toy wrench that was found in Berman's client's family member's purse. Deputy Sink abruptly and unreasonably advised Berman's client's family member to throw away this toy.