WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County woman says she was terrorized in her home by someone sworn to serve and protect.
Earlier this month we told you about Darlene McGuire’s battle with a former friend over a dog. She says a New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy broke into her home with a knife and forcefully detained her over the dispute.
McGuire says she was in her backyard when a deputy showed up and demanded she hand over the dog. When she called 911, she told the operator the deputy was threatening to break into her home.
McGuire says she gave the 2.5-pound Yorkie Maleah to a former friend’s wife. He gave it back to go on vacation. Now he wants it back, but she says she owns it and has papers to prove it. So the friend called the Sheriff’s Office and reported Maleah stolen.
Dep. Paul McMahon showed up to track down the missing Yorkie.
“He then stated that he was going to bust in my door,” McGuire said. “He started jiggling the handle on the door so violently that one screw popped out.”
She says she refused to speak with the deputy, because he was harassing her, and she did not feel he had the right to be on her property.
“Then the next thing I noticed is that the police officer’s on my front porch, and he took out a knife, and he started cutting into my doorway,” she said.
McGuire says she called the Sheriff’s Office for help.
“I told them there’s going to be a murder here. He has a knife and he has a gun. I only have my little cane here, so there wasn’t much I could do,” she said.
Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer would not go on camera for this story, but he told us because a stolen dog was involved and McGuire threatened to use her cane, Dep. McMahon had the right to try to get into her home.
All the commotion was making McGuire sick, she says. She just had surgery and had a bad knee. So dispatch sent an ambulance. McGuire says she told them she would only let one of the EMS workers into her house.
“I let EMS, one person in, and as the second person was trying to come in, an EMS person, that officer McMahon pushed his way. I tried to shut the door, and he pushed it so violently that I went flying back into the couch in my living room. And he grabbed me from my upper arm, and I have black and blues to show from that, the upper arm part here, and twisted it behind my back. And I’m screaming, ‘You’re hurting!” I just had gall bladder surgery, and my leg had a torn meniscus, so I was wobbling.,” McGuire said. “And he handcuffed me behind my back so tight that I had bruises on both my wrists.
“I said, ‘What are you doing?’ And he said, ‘I’m arresting you.’ When I asked him why, he said because I called 911 on him,” McGuire said.
A day later, Sheriff Ed McMahon, no relation to the deputy, visited McGuire to inspect where the deputy had used his knife to try to get into her house.
She also requested to speak with District Attorney Ben David. She says he called her back and was rude on the phone. David says he’s never talked to her; rather one of his assistants did. McGuire requested a formal investigation. The Sheriff’s Office sent her a letter explaining it had looked into the matter, but could not tell her what it found or what disciplinary action had been taken.
“Now Sheriff McMahon admitted that they made a lot of mistakes, and he offered to pay my medical and he offered to pay to have my door repaired,” McGuire said.
Sgt. Brewer says the sheriff only offered to look at an estimate for the door and never said he would pay for McGuire’s medical bills.
Late this afternoon the Sheriff’s Office sent us a statement saying both it and the DA’s Office had done an internal investigation, and that both agencies concluded the deputy acted in good faith and no violations took place.
McGuire was never charged with any crime.