An off-duty sheriff’s deputy arrested after drunken fights at two businesses in Columbia’s Vista district threatened police officers and used racial slurs with them, according to police.
Deputy Alexander Sherwood, of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in Lincolnton, N.C., was fired Friday after his arrest by Columbia police on a charge of public disorderly conduct, Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter told The State on Monday.
“I don't allow actions such as that at all, period,” Carpenter said of his decision to fire Sherwood. Columbia police contacted Carpenter’s agency and made them aware of the incident “as it was transpiring,” the sheriff said.
Columbia attorney David Farrell is representing Sherwood, 36, who is listed as a resident of Monroe, N.C.
“I can't comment on a pending matter,” Farrell said Monday.
Officers were called to Tin Roof on Senate Street just before 2 a.m. Friday, according to a Columbia Police Department incident report. A bar employee told officers there had been a fight and that the suspect “had identified himself as a North Carolina police officer.”
The suspect, listed in the report as Sherwood, “had thrown punches at staff” and left the bar on foot heading up Park Street toward Gervais Street, the report states.
Minutes later, police were called to an assault at the nearby Hilton Columbia Center on Senate Street, the report states. Two witnesses and “several other members of their group” told police they were all in town for a convention, and gave officers Sherwood’s name, description and profession.
Sherwood was found on the back side of the hotel and arrested, police said. He had a pocket knife in his pants pocket and exhibited signs of intoxication, including a strong smell of alcohol on his breath.
Sherwood hit one victim in the face, and a second victim told officers Sherwood pushed her down, the report states. Sherwood’s wife had a bloody knee, which she said happened while Sherwood was fighting with bouncers and staff at Tin Roof.
One of the two victims declined to press charges, saying she was “afraid of retaliation” from Sherwood because he is an officer and knows where she lives and that she has children, police said.
Both victims are friends with Sherwood’s wife, “which made the decision ( about whether to press charges) difficult for each of them,” the report states.
While being transported to the county jail, Sherwood started banging his head on the partition in the patrol car, causing a cut to his head, police said. EMS treated Sherwood, who continued banging his head against the partition and was combative with officers.
At the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, Sherwood was belligerent, threatened officers and “began using racial slurs” toward the arresting officer and jail staff, the report states. The report does not indicate the nature of the threats or the race of the officers.
Sherwood faces a misdemeanor charge of public disorderly conduct, which carries a a maximum fine of $100 and up to 30 days in jail. He was released from jail Friday on $257 personal recognizance bond, according to Richland County court records.
Lincolnton is located about 35 miles northwest of Charlotte. Carpenter said Sherwood had no reprimands or complaints filed against him in his eight months with the sheriff’s office.
“During his time here, he was a good officer,” Carpenter said.