Lawsuit filed against former New Hanover Co. deputy accused of terrorizing Pender Co. family last year

Civil rights lawsuit filed against former deputy and others

PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A lawsuit has been filed against a former New Hanover County deputy who is accused of leading an armed group of people that showed up at the wrong house last May 3, looking for a missing girl and terrifying the residents who answered the door.

The complaint, which was filed Tuesday in Pender County Superior Court on behalf of Monica and Dameon Shepard, lists former deputy Jordan Kita among the defendants.

The lawsuit states:

“On May 3, 2020, the Defendants, a mob of known and unknown white residents led by then-New Hanover County Sheriff’s Deputy Jordan Kita, attempted to forcibly enter the private Pender County home of Plaintiff Monica Shepard, an African American woman who lives there with her son, Plaintiff Dameon Shepard. Defendant Kita was wearing his official New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department uniform at the time and carrying his official sidearm. Other members of the mob led by Kita, including Defendant Austin Wood, were also armed.”

The lawsuit states that Dameon Shepard explained he was not the person the group was looking for but when he attempted to close the door, Kita stuck his foot into the doorway. The group left the scene about five minutes later.

Kita, who was fired from the sheriff’s office a few days after the incident, was charged with forcible trespass, breaking and entering, and willful failure to discharge duties.

Austin Wood, also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, is being represented by Woody White.

White issued this statement on behalf of Austin Wood:

The lawsuit seeks punitive damages in excess of $25,000 in a jury trial.

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