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SC deputy on leave after video surfaces of violent arrest in Wal - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

SC deputy on leave after video surfaces of violent arrest in Walmart

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GREENWOOD COUNTY, S.C. - An arrest Saturday led to some witnesses thinking the arresting officers went a little far -- and a deputy is now on administrative leave after the incident. 

In a video sent to WSPA-TV, a man can be seen lying on the floor of the Walmart on Whitehorse Road and the deputies attempting to arrest him. Witnesses from the scene felt the officer's actions went too far, but the Greenville County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.

The deputy seen in cell phone video "striking the suspect" has been placed on administrative pending an internal investigation by the Greenville County Sheriff's Office, officials say.

According to Greenville County Master Deputy Jonathan Smith, deputies responded around 1 pm Saturday to a call about an intoxicated man outside the Walmart.

He said the first deputy arrived to find the man acting erratic outside the store. The deputy approached the man and tried to speak to him. The man apparently kept repeating "I'm 911" to the deputy before walking away inside the store.

Smith said the second deputy arrived and the decision was made to enter the store and arrest the man. He says the man was resisting enough that a deputy had to use a Taser in order to arrest him.

In one video, an officer can be seen hitting the man several times in the head while he is being held down by both officers. In another video, an officer can be seen hitting the man in the head or neck area at least 14 times.

In one video of the incident, a person could be heard screaming: "Please stop punching him like that. Don't punch him no more!"

The officer that is delivering the hits to the man's head and neck appears to stop at least twice -- and the starts again.

Several people can be heard on the video yelling "Stop!"

Smith said the man was then taken outside the store and transported to a Greenville hospital. 

Deputies say the suspect, Sandon Matthew Sierad, 32 from Greenville, was acting erratically outside of the Wal-Mart and was believed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Jonathan Smith with the Greenville County Sheriff's says "There's a whole lot more to this incident than what was put on a smart phone."

Smith provided surveillance video of the incident and gave an outline leading up to the arrest Sunday at a press conference with local media. 

It started with Sierad standing nearly 10 minutes by a register inside the store. Once an employee left the register, surveillance video shows him attempt to take a cash drawer. That's when the first call was made to dispatch at 1:06 pm. 

Walmart management takes Sierad to the front of store only to have him cause a scene inside the store's salon. At one point, he sits on the counter, refusing to move. That is when another call was placed to dispatch, this one at 1:10 pm. 

Once outside, Smith says Sierad behaves erratically, pacing by his truck and calling dispatch himself. 

"He actually calls us through dispatch and tells us he is there looking for his truck...and you see him on camera at his truck." Smith said at the press conference. 

That is when the first deputy arrives and Sierad walks directly toward him. The deputy had knife visible on his uniform, a normal part of a deputies uniform. When Sierad come up to the deputy, he grabs for the knife a total of three times. He then jumps on the back of his truck. 

A second deputy arrives and Sierad bolts inside the store followed by deputies. 

This is when witness cell phone video was started to be taken. 

According to Smith, Sierad was Tased at least 2 times but the Taser had no effect on him. At one point, Sierad is seen pulling at the Taser wire, indicated to the deputies that he may be under the influence of something stronger. 

"People may not agree with what they saw, but like I said, we could not foresee what his thought process was." Smith said. 

Smith would not comment on the eyewitness videos stating the internal investigation. The Sheriff's Office did not give any timeline on the internal investigation and is asking any eyewitnesses to the incident to come forth and speak with the department about what they saw. 

You can contact the Greenville County Sheriff's Office at 864-467-5300.

Sierad faces charges of assault and battery, resisting arrest, breach of peace and disorderly conduct.

-- Info from WSPA

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