Report: Off-duty deputy handcuffed, assaulted soldier he was fighting with at bar
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - An off-duty Richland County sheriff's deputy is in hot water after allegedly assaulting a woman, handcuffing her and slamming her head into a table at a Columbia restaurant on Monday.
Columbia police arrested 49-year-old Deputy Paul Allen Derrick at Buffalo Wild Wings on Devine Street and charged him with assault.
The incident happened just after 11 p.m.
According to a Columbia Police Department incident report, Derrick approached a female soldier from Fort Jackson who appeared to be upset. The report states the 23-year-old 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.
Several people in the business recorded the incident on their cell phones as Derrick, according to the report, tried to handcuff the female soldier. Derrick overpowered the woman, handcuffed her, pulled her to her feet, and slammed her head into a metal table, the report states.
A police officer who reviewed cell phone video of the incident reports hearing Derrick say, "This is how Marines deal with soldiers," while slamming the woman into the table.
The off-duty deputy held the soldier down until Columbia police arrived, according to the report.
Derrick told police that he had placed the woman under arrest.
A news release from the Richland County Sheriff's Department says Derrick is a sworn law enforcement officer with the ability and authority to make arrests, "however, violations of proper procedures may have occurred and if so, appropriate action will be taken."
However, Sheriff Leon Lott says the CPD made a mistake in arresting Derrick.
Lott says columbia police believed Derrick did not have the authority to make an arrest. He says Derrick does have that authority.
The sheriff also disputes a suggestion in the CPD incident report that Derrick was making an advance on the woman but had been rejected. He says his deputy was trying to calm the soldier.
Police confiscated a loaded gun Derrick was carrying at the time of the incident, and his identification, badge, and bar receipt.
The Richland County Sheriff's Department says Derrick was cooperative while being arrested by Columbia police.
Derrick is retired from the Columbia Fire Department and has worked for the Sheriff's Department for 14 years.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, Columbia Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago, and the Solicitor's Office plan to meet about the incident early next week.
Derrick is on unpaid suspension during the investigation.
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