Sheriff's Department Investigating Inmate's Injuries

3:53 PM, Sep 17, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A Midlands woman tells News19 her son was assaulted at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center by a jail guard last Thursday. 

It comes after the assault of a Columbia homeless man, Robert Sweeper, whose lawyer says was beaten and left for days without medical attention. Since the incident involving Sweeper, a county subcommittee has been created to look into the jail's policies and practices.

Previous Coverage: Man Beaten in Jail Sues Richland County, Richland County Will Hire Company to Audit Jail

Gregory Roberts, 23, is in the Richland County jail on charges of assault and battery and burglary. Rena Roberts, his mother, tells News19 her son's teeth were knocked out and he needed stitches in the back of his head. She believes her son was mistreated, and says she wasn't notified until another inmate told her about the incident two days later. 

A spokesperson for Richland County tells News19 the incident happened when Roberts became combative with a guard. Spokeswoman Beverly Harris says, "When they got him to a certain unit at the center he placed his feet on the wall in the Sally Port Area and continued to be combative. At that time he was placed against the wall so the officers could gain control and put in a restraint chair. "

Harris tells News19 that she is not sure how many officers were involved in the incident and they are working on an incident report outlining what happened. She says the investigation has been turned over to the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Rena Roberts says her son suffers from mental illness and has a history of aggressive behavior, but she still believes the jail staff took the situation too far. "I think something needs to be done about this because hitting on a mentally disabled person, I think something should be done about this," Harris said during an interview. "I want justice served about this."

Gregory Roberts has a criminal record dating back to 2007. It includes two incidents where he was charged with failing to comply with direction of a police officer or fireman. He also has convictions for domestic violence and failing to stop for blue lights.

Richland County Councilman Seth Rose chairs the county's subcommittee on reforming the jail. Rose says he has been updated on the situation and believes officers handled the situation appropriately. 


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