Griffin’s Family Plans to Sue Police Departments

The mother of a man who jumped off a bridge into Lake Guntersville after a high-speed police chase is, according to her lawyer, planning to sue the police departments of three Alabama cities.

Mark Overall, the attorney for Terron Dabbs of Guntersville, said his client will file a wrongful death suit against the police departments of Albertville, Guntersville and Boaz, for the January 5, 2013, death of her son, Deonta Markey Griffin.  The suit, which will also include those officers who were participants in the high-speed chase, will ask for unspecified damages.

Overall stated he wants to review the police officer’s video of the chase.  He also claims Griffin was assaulted by police late last year and, thus, was afraid, and that’s why he became involved in a high-speed chase with police.  “Once the chase ended, (officers) either sicced dogs on him or made an advance toward him that compelled him off the bridge.”

The attorney reported that an onlooker recorded part of the chase with her phone and emailed a video of the clip to him, although he did not share what the video clip revealed.

Authorities report that Boaz officers went to Griffin’s home the morning of his death to serve him with a warrant for failure to appear in court on a domestic violence charge, but he was not at home.  The officers later saw Griffin driving and attempted to stop him, but Griffin drove off.  The chase, which reached speeds of more than 100 mph, began in Boaz and continued through Albertville and ended in Guntersville, where Griffin leapt from his moving car on a bridge, and then jumped over the guardrail, falling 75 feet into Lake Guntersville.

The body of Deonta Griffin was not found until four months after he jumped into the water.  The twenty-year-old man was a father of one son and had been in trouble with the law in the past.  At the time of his death, authorities report he was wanted in Marshall County for a probation violation, theft of property and other undisclosed felony charges.

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