Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Deputy Arrested for Using Excessive Force in Augusta

Sheriff Ronnie Strength After Firing Deputy: "He knew he had gone too far."

A Richmond County sheriff's deputy is in hot water after beating the crap out of a bar patron while arresting him over the weekend at the Country Club bar on Washington Road.

Deputy Bryan Johnson, shown above, got the boot from his job and ended up in jail himself on an aggravated battery charge. On Tuesday, Sheriff Ronnie Strength told a gathering of reporters that he was "very upset" about the incident.

"There's no doubt in my mind that he knew he had gone too far," the sheriff said.

According to the sheriff's office, Deputy Johnson was dressed in uniform at the club even though he wasn't on duty and he was not working security there. He reportedly stepped in to help another officer confront a man who was causing a disturbance on the dance floor.

Outside, Deputy Johnson allegedly attacked Christopher Kersey, 35, of Lexington, S.C., who is shown below. Authorities say the deputy's assault on Mr. Kersey continued even though he was already in handcuffs.

As shown in his mugshot, Mr. Kersey suffered serious injuries, including two black eyes, a dislocated jaw, fractures to both orbital bones, momentary loss of sight in his left eye and a shattered right elbow

In his report, Deputy Johnson claims he was trying to stop a fight on the dance floor when Mr. Kersey hit him in the eye. The officer claimed the man continued to be combative even after he was on the ground.

Mr. Kersey was arrested and charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer. He was treated at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Deputy Johnson was held at the Richmond County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.

Christopher Kersey, 35, of Lexington, S.C.

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