COLUMBIA, S.C. — State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) had arrested a former public safety officer at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) after the 39-year-old man used excessive force on a juvenile patient at SCDMH's William S. Hall facility.
Vincent Nocera was charged with assault and battery 3rd degree and misconduct in office after an incident that took place on Jan. 31, 2023.
According to the arrest warrant, Nocera was acting as a public safety officer at the Hall facility at 220 Faison Drive, in Columbia, when he assisted other officers while the medical staff administered sedatives to a juvenile patient. After the injections were completed, officers began to release the patient from their physical control. That is when the juvenile began to kick and, in response, Nocera used excessive force by punching the patient with a closed fist approximately four times to the calf region on the juvenile's lower body.
Officers in the room intervened, pushed Nocera to the ground and then a supervisor escorted Nocera from the room as he screamed at the patient.
The incident was recorded by both the facility's cameras and officers' body-worn cameras.
Nocera was booked into Alvin S Glenn Detention Center on June 2.