|Dash Cam Records Deputy Beating Teen
Deputy Charged In Beating
WYFF 4 | August 8, 2008
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -- An 18-year-old was punched 13 times in the face by a deputy, and it was all caught on tape.
The deputy, Brian Tollison, has been fired and had been charged in the incident.
WYFF was exclusively given excerpts from the video that was recorded on the deputy's dash camera on May 15.
The video shows Tollison, who was working undercover, trying to take a driver into custody after he pulled him over in the Judson community.
In the video, a back-up deputy appears to hold onto the teen while Tollison hits him. When other deputies arrive, the teen is taken out of the truck.
The video show other deputies Taser and kick 18-year-old Jeremy Rucker several times.
Rucker's attorney, Karl Allen, says his client is a victim. He said that Rucker was sitting in a truck talking on a cell phone and was guilty of nothing when he was approached by undercover deputies.
He said, "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. They kick three times to the torso."
Allen said, judging by the tape, the other deputies didn't feel threatened by Rucker.
"I've seen nothing to justify the actions of these officers," he said.
Allen gave the video to WYFF News 4.
According to deputies, the driver of the truck ran off and they were trying to take Rucker into custody.
Sheriff Steve Loftis said that Rucker resisted arrest at first, but by the time Tollison started hitting him, he had "calmed down."
Loftis fired Tollison in June.
"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 were not implicated in the investigation. Allen said he would like to more scrutiny of their participation in the incident.
"You sit there and count methodically the punches and you see law enforcement not stopping one of their own … I think that is appalling," Allen said.
Allen has filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice.
He said he has "grave concern about this young man being held and beaten, I think if you're holding him and allowing someone else to beat him, you're a part of this process. I think if you're standing by as an officer and you're watching a brutal kicking of a citizen that you have to be part of that process."
Tollison was charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. He was released from jail on bond.
Rucker was charged with drug possession and resisting arrest. Deputies said when he was taken into custody, they found drugs on him. He was also released on bond.