Paul Allen Derrick (Image: Richland County Detention Center)
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says he was angry after watching video of a former deputy arrest a woman while the deputy was off duty and drinking at a bar.
"I want to strangle him," Lott said. "It frustrates me that the hard work and good stuff that we do, one incident like this negatively reflects on this."
The entire incident at the Buffalo Wild Wings on Devine Street last week was recorded on a cell phone by another man at the bar.
Lott says former Deputy Paul Derrick had a shot and beer at the bar before the incident occured.
"My initial reaction was to fire him on the spot. But to be fair, in these circumstances when we have someone that's done something wrong, we do an internal affairs investigation," Lott said.
The internal affairs investigation included the cell phone video and led Lott to fire Derrick Tuesday. Lott says he terminated the deputy before meeting with 5th Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson and Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago.
Derrick has been charged with assault and Lott wants the solicitor to prosecute the case. He's offered to help the solicitor in any way that's needed.
"There is absolutely no excuse for his behavior and what he did that night," Lott said.
Lott says Derrick's personnel file shows he was a member of the National Guard and that comments made by the deputy about the woman being a soldier were out of line.
"There's lots of things in our policies and procedures. He violated all of them," Lott said. "It's why he'll never work at the Sheriff's department and I'm going to make sure he doesn't work in law enforcement anywhere."