A Columbia police officer has been arrested and charged with criminal domestic violence, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced.
Officer Tobin Barton, 36, was suspended without pay by acting Columbia police chief Melron Kelly following his arrest, department spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said.
Incoming Columbia police chief William “Skip” Holbrook has not yet been sworn in.
According to the Sheriff Lott news release, Barton, 36, assaulted his live-in girlfriend during a verbal argument by grabbing her around the throat.
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The incident happened just before 1 a.m. Saturday, when deputies responded to an assault call at 840 Sparkleberry Lane, Lott said.
Barton was arrested as a result of the domestic dispute and transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. However, as of Sunday afternoon, he was no longer in jail.
South Carolina is among the nation’s state leaders in criminal domestic violence incidents.