An off-duty Richland County deputy was arrested in South Carolina last week, after cell-phone video revealed his attempts to violently arrest a female soldier for allegedly arguing with him at a local restaurant.
According to the police report, 49-year-old deputy Paul Derrick began arguing with a distraught 23-year-old Brittany Ball after his attempts to initiate a conversation with the soldier were ignored. Derrick, who was not in police uniform, was also drinking at the time of the incident.
wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina |
According to witnesses, Derrick left the restaurant and returned after obtaining his badge, firearm and handcuffs from his vehicle. Derrick then grabbed Ball before violently handcuffing her arms behind her back, screaming “soldier stand up,” as the woman struggled to move.
Steven Hughes, a bar patron sitting across the patio, immediately pulled out his cell phone camera in an attempt to document the deteriorating situation.
“I said, ‘I’m going to start videoing this, because I think something is about to get out of hand and about the time I got my video out, he had her turned around and was putting her in handcuffs. I mean she never yelled at him. She never resisted. She was as calm as she could be,” Hughes told WIS News.
Throughout the video Derrick can be seen pulling the woman’s arms, even saying, “This is how Marines deal with soldiers,” before slamming the woman’s head into a metal table.
Astonished by Derrick’s behavior, calls began pouring into 911 as restaurant management attempted to help the woman. Derrick continually demanded the management “step away” as the woman gasped for air. Amazingly, the deputy even goes on to order other customers to leave the patio.
“At an establishment like that if the management hasn’t asked you to leave, then you as a customer can’t ask somebody to leave,” said Hughes. “You have to go get management. That’s the whole point of having a business is letting management handle it.”
As Columbia police arrived on scene, Hughes immediately presented officers with the captured cell phone video while Derrick attempted to defend his actions.
“He watched maybe the first 30 seconds of it. And when he heard the Marine-Army comment he said, ‘Alright, things just changed. Arrest him, 10-37, and release her.’ And that’s when I said, ‘Sir, I know it’s hard, but that’s the right thing,’” said Hughes.
After being placed on administrative leave without pay, Derrick was later fired and charged with assault.
Full video of the incident: