COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Cell phone video obtained by WIS shows an off-duty Richland County deputy's actions as he tries to arrest a soldier after allegedly getting into an argument with her at a Columbia restaurant last week.
The veteran deputy, 49-year-old Paul Derrick, was placed on leave without pay after he was arrested following the October 7 incident at Buffalo Wild Wings on Devine Street.
According to a Columbia Police Department incident report, around 11 p.m. Derrick approached a female soldier from Fort Jackson who appeared to be upset. The report states 23-year-old Brittany Ball showed no interest in Derrick and the two started arguing.
Police say Derrick, who was not in uniform and was drinking alcohol, left the restaurant and returned with handcuffs he retrieved from his vehicle.
Derrick overpowered Ball, handcuffed her, pulled her to her feet, and slammed her head into a metal table, the report states. Ball, according to the report, was also drinking alcohol.
Cell phone video recorded by a bar patron Steven Hughes details the events as they unfolded on the patio of the restaurant.
"I said, 'I'm going to start videoing this, because I think something is about to get out of hand,'" said Hughes. "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. Obviously she was scared, I mean when you get arrested, especially if it's your first time you're going to be scared."
In the video, Derrick can be seen trying to force Ball to stand up after cuffing her hands behind her back.
At one point Ball is positioned over a table, and the table collapses.
A police officer who reviewed video of the incident reports hearing Derrick say, "This is how Marines deal with soldiers," while slamming the woman into the table.
It is not clear from the video why Derrick thought it was necessary to restrain Ball.
Restaurant employees and other customers watched nearby and tried to intervene in the incident.
"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."
Derrick does not let management handle it. Instead, he warned others away as he remained on the patio with Ball still unable to free herself. By now, Columbia police are on the way. When they arrive, Hughes shows the video to an officer.
"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.
Sheriff Leon Lott on Tuesday discussed the case with Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago and Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson.
Sheriff Lott fired Paul Derrick on Tuesday. Click here for details.
Lott plans a news conference Wednesday to talk about the matter.
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