Charleston Family Sues City After Dad Arrested For Walking Violation While Grieving Murdered Son

Charges against the man were later dropped.

Two days after his 24-year-old son was murdered in West Ashley, Corey Gabe Sr. went for a walk to clear his head in Charleston and was later wrongfully arrested in front of his grieving family members, according to two recently filed lawsuits. 

Corey Gabe’s wife and daughter, Sheryl and Sherise Gabe, filed separate lawsuits against the city of Charleston on Friday in the February 2018 arrest of Corey Gabe Sr. These lawsuits are separate from Corey Gabe Sr.’s lawsuit that was moved to federal court in August. 

On Feb. 6, 2018, grieving relatives gathered at Gabe’s home as they mourned the loss of 24-year-old Corey Gabe Jr., who was shot and killed in West Ashley two days before. Gabe Sr. became “overwhelmed with emotion,” and decided to go for a walk.

While walking along Hazelwood Drive in Charleston, officer C.R. Stratton pulled up next to Gabe and asked him what he was doing in the road, the lawsuits said. 

A witness overheard Gabe tell the officer he was mourning the loss of his son and he was walking to clear this head, according to the lawsuit. Gabe then agreed to get out of the road and kept walking toward his home. The witness noted there were no other cars in the road at the time.

Stratton continued to follow Gabe, which made him “visibly upset,” the lawsuits stated. Gabe then told the officer to leave his yard, which was now filled with more grieving family members. 

The officer then approached Gabe in an “aggressive and belligerent” manner, the lawsuits claimed.  

Stratton then held up what looked like a can of pepper spray and told the family “unless you want to get sprayed then back up,” the lawsuit said. 

Gabe tried to cool down and walked inside his home.

Stratton then kicked in Gabe’s door, without a warrant or permission, and “aggressively grabbed” Gabe, according to the lawsuit.  The officer then “began to assault” Gabe “while pulling him against his will onto the front porch. “

Stratton then shoved Gabe’s wife out of his way, according to the lawsuit.  Stratton pulled out his service weapon and “eventually other officers arrested” Gabe in front of the grieving family. 

Gabe was charged with assaulting an officer and pedestrian on the highway — both which were later dropped. He was immediately booked in the Charleston County Detention Center, where he spent 24 hours behind bars, the lawsuit said. 

Sheryl and Sherise Gabe are suing the city of Charleston for negligence, abuse of process, grossly negligent infliction of emotion and assault and battery. 

“(Stratton’s) behavior was rude, vulgar and/ or inappropriate and his actions rose to a level of extreme outrage exceeding all possible bounds of decency and were atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community” the lawsuit said.

Andrew Kunz of Georgetown is representing the Gabes in the lawsuit.

In Corey Gabe’s federal suit filed against former interim police chief Greg Mullen, the City of Charleston, Charleston Police Department, and Stratton, attorneys representing Charleston Police denied a majority of allegations in his lawsuit.

They added that Gabe was walking in the middle of the road at the time he was stopped in the response to the suit, but did not specify if/ why Stratton entered the man’s property. For a majority of the claims, attorneys representing the city/ police referred to video and incident reports for further review. They specifically denied the claim that there were no other vehicles in the roadway at the time.

The Charleston Police Department was recently dropped as a defendant in that suit because it is an agency of the city and it’s unnecessary to sue both at the same time.

The Gabes are asking the court to reward them for actual and punitive damages in an appropriate amount.

Mandy Matney



Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to



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