Deputies in South Carolina are being probed after a suspect was beaten during an arrest caught on video Saturday.
Witnesses filmed two Greenville County Sheriff's Office deputies as they appeared to punch a man more than 10 times during the arrest, which occurred at Walmart.
According to WSPA, deputies responded to a call about a man acting erratically at Walmart. They said he appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Although they struck the man twice with a stun gun, cops said the shock failed to incapacitate him.
The suspect, Sandon Matthew Sierad, 32, was charged with resisting arrest, third-degree assault and battery, breach of peace and disorderly conduct.
Video shot by witnesses shows the man being forced to the ground while the deputies try to cuff him. One of the deputies repeatedly punches the man while he is pinned to the ground. Witnesses plead for the officers to stop punching him. Images of the altercation spread on social media over the weekend.
On Monday, the officer seen striking the suspect was placed on leave, Fox Carolina reported. But Deputy Jonathan Smith told the station that there's more to the incident than the viral video of the arrest.
Smith said surveillance video shows that Sierad tried to break into a cash register in the store's electronics department. Sierad then allegedly harassed store employees and exited the store, then called 911 to report his vehicle missing, and accused dispatchers of stealing it.
"[The deputy] knew that [Sierad] was possibly intoxicated," Smith said. "Some of his behaviors indicated this was more than just alcohol."
Smith said that the use of force by deputies is being investigated. Witnesses told WSPA that the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri had made them more sensitive to uses of force by police.