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SC prison officer tried to derail investigation after assaulting inmate, warrant says

SCDC Captain Travis Reese.
SCDC Captain Travis Reese.

A captain for the South Carolina Department of Corrections is in prison after assaulting an inmate and lying during the investigation, authorities say.

Friday, the department issued a warrant for the arrest of Travis Laquinton Reese, a prison officer at Broad River Correctional Institution. He is charged with third-degree assault and battery and misconduct in office.

On Aug. 1, the warrant says, Reese pushed an inmate to the ground while the inmate was restrained in leg shackles with his hands cuffed behind his back. The arrest warrant says Reese failed to report the use of force while also falsifying documents pertaining to the investigation.

“Travis Reese, a sworn officer with the (Corrections Department) did willfully, dishonestly, and with corrupt intent engage in misconduct of office by assaulting an inmate,” the warrant reads.

Investigators saw video of the incident and received a sworn statement by the inmate, according to the warrant.

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Reese, 36, is being held at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County while he awaits a bond hearing. Records show that Reese is set to begin court proceedings on September 27.

Assault and battery, third-degree, is a misdemeanor. A person convicted of the charge can be fined $500 or face 30 days in jail, or both. Misconduct in office can land a public officer or employee in jail for one year along with a $1,000 fine.

Since May, five Corrections officers or employees have been arrested by the agency for which they work, stemming from various crimes within the prison. In one case, an officer was smuggling marijuana and other contraband into the prison, authorities say. In another case, the former head nurse administrator of Lee Correctional Institute in Lee County was arrested for smuggling watches into the prison, according to a warrant. After a search of her vehicle, authorities found tobacco wrapped in condoms, which was consistent with attempts to smuggle contraband, the warrant said. In May, officials arrested a prison dairy farm worker at Wateree River Correctional Institution for bringing outside food and Percocet pain pills into the prison. Another prison officer was arrested and charged with assault and battery in June after authorities say he groped women and attempted to blame it on inmates.

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