August 9, 2008
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. — An 18-year-old was punched in the face 13 times by a deputy police officer, whose dashboard video camera caught the incident on tape, WYFF Channel 4 News reported.
The video shows undercover Deputy Brian Tollison pulling over a truck driven by a drug suspect and beating the teenage driver while what appears to be a back-up deputy held down him down.
Once back-up deputies arrived, 18-year-old Jeremy Rucker was pulled out of the truck and tasered and kicked while lying prone on the ground.
Sheriff Steve Loftis fired Tollison, who also faces criminal charges for the incident, which took place May 15.
"The fact that Deputy Tollison took his closed fist and struck the suspect in the face 13 times in my opinion was excessive," Loftis said.
The other deputies involved have not been charged.
The Greenville County Sheriff's Department said that Rucker had fled from police and resisted arrest, but had "calmed down" when Tollison started hitting him.
Rucker's attorney, Karl Allen, said his client was sitting in his truck talking on his phone when the undercover deputies approached him.
"Then they have the audacity, to treat this man as if he's a piece of meat and Taser him with electrical jolts to his body and then, that's not enough," Allen said. "They kick three times to the torso."
Police charged Rucker with drug possession and resisting arrest, though drugs were not found on him until he was taken into custody.
Rucker's beating is one of several recent examples of police brutality.
Police tasered an injured teen from Ozark, Missouri up to 19 times after he fell from a highway overpass in late July.
The 16-year-old had broken his back and heel when the officers began tasering him.
In another bizarre instance of police violence, a 66-year-old minister was tasered and beaten by hospital security guards for what he claims was a joke.
In that incident, hospital security cameras caught five officers kicking Rev. Al Poisson on the ground for at least five minutes.