COLUMBIA, SC — A drunken sheriff’s deputy was recorded during a strange and inappropriate altercation when he tried to arrest a female soldier at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Columbia, because she allegedly turned down his advances.
On October 7th, 23-year-old Brittany Ball, a USMC member out of Fort Jackson, was allegedly upset at the restaurant when approached by Richland County Deputy Paul Allen Derrick. She apparently did not want anything to do with him, which caused the aggressive deputy to become enraged and the two began to argue.
Derrick, a 17 year veteran, left the restaurant to go retrieve handcuffs and his gun from his vehicle, then returning to try and arrest Ball. He was recorded screaming at her and barking orders as he twisted her arms behind her back.
The report states that Derrick handcuffed her, pulled her to her feet, and slammed her head into a metal table.
The video shows the berserking officer repeatedly ordering the woman to “STAND UP” and “SIT DOWN.” While he held her in handcuffs against her will, he wrapped his arm around her neck and kept resting his hand on her breast.
“Let her go!” shouted a woman from off-camera.
Onlookers showed concern for the woman and told the raging officer that he had “crossed the line” and should let her go. Restaurant-goers murmured that somebody should “call the “real cops.”
When a few men approached the officer, he threatened to arrest them. “You wanna get an attitude? STEP AWAY!!”
Shortly thereafter, Columbia police arrived. They spoke to witnesses and saw the cell-phone video. They ordered that Derrick release Ball, then took him into custody and charged him with assault and battery.
Sheriff Leon Lott initially backed Derrick — disagreeing with Columbia Police — saying that he had authority to make an arrest, suggesting that Ball was “resisting.”
After a week of pressure and reasoning, Sheriff Lott placed Derrick on leave without pay, according to WISTV.
Fortunately everyone made it out of the tense situation alive, and Derrick did not go further with trying to abduct the woman. But what should be done when officers attack? Capturing cell phone video is good for evidence, but at what point is it necessary and justified to physically intervene with an “assault and battery” in progress, assuming the assailant is an armed and dangerous government agent?