RICHLAND COUNTY, SC Former Richland County Deputy Paul Derrick pleaded guilty to assault and battery 3rd degree and was sentenced to jail time served, the Richland County solicitor’s office confirmed Wednesday.
The charge stems from an incident on October 7, 2013 at the Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar at 4500 Devine Street. Derrick, who was off duty at the time got into a verbal argument with another bar patron, then-23-year-old Brittany Ball, a soldier at Fort Jackson. Derrick left the bar and returned with handcuffs, his gun and a badge.
According to a Columbia Police department report, Derrick handcuffed Ball, forced her to her feet and slammed her head against a table. When police arrived on scene they arrested Derrick after looking at video of the incident recorded on the cell phones of other bar patrons Derrick was charged with assault. A week later he was put on leave without pay by Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
The video of the assault ‘went viral’ and the case attracted widespread attention including a report in the Army Times, a fact that has led to Ball’s “complete humiliation” according to a lawsuit Ball has filed in federal court against Derrick, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and Blazin Wings Inc., the owner of Bufallo Wild Wings.
Ball alleged that Derrick was drunk when he approached and “offered her a clear liquid in a shot glass,” which she rebuffed, asking him to leave her alone.
She accuses him of using excessive and unjustified force and verbally abusing and torturing her “by twisting, turning, and pulling the handcuffs causing Plaintiff, Brittany Ball, to fall to the ground and causing severe injury and pain to the Plaintiff’s wrists, arms, shoulders, legs and back.”
“At no time during this entire incident did any employee or agent of Blazin Wings, Inc. AKA Buffalo Wild Wings, take any action to protect or aid Plaintiff,” the suit alleges.
In a legal filing, Derrick denied the allegations against him and charged that Ball was ‘grossly intoxicated.” He also argued that he is entitled to immunity from prosecution because “he was acting within the course and scope of his employment as a Deputy of the Sheriff of Richland County.”