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Cop resigns after throwing man’s only photo of his dead wife into river

By Mason White 4:59 PM November 17, 2014
Men with backpacks illustration 

By: Wayne Morin
A man lost his only photo of his dead wife when a cop threw his backpack into a river.

The police officer of Virginia, reportedly resigned after throwing the backpack of the homeless man into the Elk River.

According to the criminal complaint, Charleston Patrol Officer Brian Lightner confronted Andrew Joel Hunt, 26, on the Spring Street bridge when he was seen arguing with several homeless people.

An officer ordered him to leave, but Hunt, who admitted that he had been drinking, refused to leave. Lightner grabbed his backpack and threw it overboard before arresting him.

After leaving prison, Hunt filed a police complaint, saying that Lightner tossed his backpack over the bridge. Hunt said that his backpack included his laptop and the only pictures he had of his dead wife.

The Charleston Police Department sent a dive team to recover the backpack, and later agreed to an undisclosed settlement with Hunt.

The police department also filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Hunt without explanation.

Lightner said that dealing with homeless people is a “frustrating job. It takes a toll on you.”

Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster confirmed that Lightner had been suspended without pay, but he declined to comment on rumors that Lightner had agreed to resign to avoid being charged with destroying property.