FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Florence County deputy was fired after a public disorderly call on Tuesday in which an “under control” suspect was knocked unconscious, according to a Florence County Sheriff’s Office news release.
The incident happened at about 4:15 p.m. at the Waste Management System Facility located on Saint Beulah Road.
The first deputy on the scene had the situation under control after placing the suspect in handcuffs. But when Cpl. Joseph Rinehart arrived, he allegedly forcefully put the suspect on the ground and caused the suspect’s head to bleed, according to the sheriff’s office.
The suspect was knocked unconscious during the incident, according to the sheriff’s office. The suspect was taken to a hospital and was released to deputies to be charged with assault and battery.
Rinehart was terminated Wednesday after a review of the incident. It’s not known at this time if Rinehart will face any charges.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division will be investigating the incident, according to the news release.
“This is not how our deputies are trained,” Sheriff TJ Joye said in a statement. “Since I was elected Sheriff I have attempted to create a culture of transparency and accountability, because that is what the Citizens of Florence County expect and deserve from their law enforcement. This conduct is not consistent with our values and will not be tolerated.”
Law enforcement records obtained by News13 from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy show Rinehart had been with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office since 2018 and had no prior disciplinary issues and completed several hours of “use of force” training in April.
The sheriff’s office will not provide the name of the person who was arrested.
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The sheriff’s office said at the request of SLED, the video of the incident will not be released until the investigation is completed.