Lawsuit: Off-duty deputy's arrest of soldier was 'complete humiliation'

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The chain of events stunned patrons at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Columbia last October. But when video shot by one of those customers hit our airwaves and then the Internet, outrage spread all over the country.

The scene played out on the patio of the sports bar on Devine Street. Off-duty Richland County deputy Paul Derrick handcuffing 23 year old Brittany Ball, then shouting commands as he yanks her arms up behind her.

Ball, it turned out, was a soldier at Fort Jackson while Derrick had served in the Marines.

We spoke last fall to Steven Hughes, the customer who shot the video on his cell phone.

"It was stand up, soldier, stand up. This is what the Marines do to us. And then the next line is something along the lines of this is how the Army is treated by Marines. Let me show you," said Hughes.

At one point, Ball pitched forward into a table, causing it to collapse.

When Columbia police eventually arrived, an officer looked at the video and that department took custody not of the handcuffed Ball, but Derrick, charging him with assault.

Ball filed a Richland County civil suit which has now been moved into a federal court as a civil rights matter. In her complaint, she claims she was "tortured" by Derrick as he twisted, turned and pulled the handcuffs, injuring her so severely she is permanently disabled.

Ball further claims the video, seen tens of thousands of times, led to her "complete humiliation."

Ball also names Sheriff Leon Lott, his department, the county, and the restaurant chain in the suit.

Attorneys for all of those parties have responded in court documents.

The attorney for Lott and Richland County says Derrick was acting outside the course and scope of his job and not in performance of his official duties.

The restaurant's attorneys reject it had any duty to protect her from unanticipated criminal behavior or that employees continued to serve alcohol to Derrick, whom Ball claims, was already intoxicated. His attorneys say Derrick was acting within the scope of his duties as a deputy. They say any harm to Ball was the result of her own actions.

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