Camden County, GA – Two Camden County sheriff’s deputies and a corrections officer have been fired and charged with beating a prisoner in the county jail in September after the incident was captured on surveillance video (video below).
Harry Daniels, the attorney for the inmate featured in the video footage, said the incident occurred in September in his client’s cell at the Camden County Detention Center, WJCL reported.
Daniels said his client, 41-year-old Jarrett Hobbs, was in jail facing charges for speeding, driving with a suspended and or revoked license, and possession of a controlled substance.
The surveillance video showed Hobbs standing in a holding area of the facility when a Camden County sheriff’s deputy walked in and tried to take him by the left arm to put him in handcuffs.
Hobbs resisted and twisted away from the deputy and the video showed three more law enforcement officers rushed into the holding area to the assist in getting the man under control.
It was not clear what the inmate or the deputies struggling with him may have said, but it was obvious in the video that he was violently resisting having his hands put behind his back for handcuffs.
The video showed one of the deputies delivered several rabbit punches to Hobbs’ head in an effort to get him to comply but they were ineffective.
Then two other deputies delivered several blows to the inmate’s head and shoulder area as they fought to get him under control.
The entire kerfuffle was over in 30 seconds, as soon as the inmate was placed in handcuffs, WJCL reported.
“They beat this man. They beat him. He could have died. He talked about he didn’t want to go to the ground because he didn’t want to be the next George Floyd,” Daniels said.
The video was released after the Camden County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) filed assault charges against Hobbs, WJCL reported.
The footage was shown as evidence at Hobbs’ federal probation hearing.
Daniels has called for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate possible federal charges against the sheriff’s deputies involved in the beating, WJCL reported.
He said he is planning to file a civil lawsuit against the sheriff’s department and the county.
“There is nothing that will show provocation of a man almost beat to death. Thank God, he didn’t die,” Daniels told reporters.
Camden County Sheriff Jim Proctor announced an investigation into the allegations and released the video on the sheriff’s department’s official Facebook page last week.
Sheriff Proctor said in the post that the review would include all footage of Hobbs from Sept. 3 to Sept. 30 and said he would bring in another agency to assist in the investigation, if necessary.
On Tuesday, the sheriff’s department put out a press release that said three of the employees featured in the video had been criminally charged, CNN reported.
“Charged with Battery of an Inmate, and Violating the Oath of Office, are Mason Garrick, Braxton Massey, and Ryan Biegel,” the press release read.
The sheriff’s department also clarified that it had terminated the three men prior to their arrests.
CCSO Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Biegel was a three-year veteran of the force and CCSO Sheriff’s Deputy Mason Garrick had joined the department just 18 months earlier, CNN reported.
CCSO Corrections Officer Braxton Massey had worked at the county jail for six months.
All three men are facing felony charges of battery of an inmate and violating their oaths of office, WJXX reported.
They were booked into the same Camden County Public Safety Complex where Hobbs was allegedly beaten.
Online records showed they were later released on $10,000 bond each.
The sheriff’s department said that two other employees who were involved in the incident were facing disciplinary measures, CNN reported.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is heading up the investigation that led to felony charges against all three men.
GBI Director Michael Register said the investigation is ongoing and that it would continue to forward its findings to the district attorney, CNN reported.
Director Register wouldn’t confirm whether charges were planned for the other two employees who were involved in the incident.
“If other arrests are necessary, they will be made,” the director said.
“I appreciate the Georgia Bureau of Investigation assisting our agency with this critical incident that occurred,” Sheriff Proctor told reporters. “The arrest of these employees culminates the criminal investigation.”
Hobbs’ attorney said his client was no longer in the Camden County jail but that he was still facing charges in the county, WJCL reported.
It turned out that Hobbs was in violation of his probation in North Carolina by being in Georgia at all, CNN reported.
While Camden County officials haven’t released many details of what happened to prompt the incident in the videos, a North Carolina probation revocation filed by his probation officer in that state provided a narrative of what allegedly occurred.
“While Defendant was in custody at the (sheriff’s office) complex in Woodbine, Georgia, jailers heard a large banging from Defendant’s holding cell. Defendant was reportedly kicking his cell door and was told by jailers to stop after already being warned to stop previously,” the document read.
“Officer Carney testified that Defendant apparently continued this kicking, resulting in the jailers approaching him, giving him verbal commands and putting his hands behind his back,” the narrative continued. “However, Defendant allegedly did not comply and responded to the jailers, saying ‘I ain’t doing s-t.’. After the jailers reportedly continued to give him orders and approached him, Defendant tensed up, pulled away, and a physical altercation between Defendant and jailers ensued.”
“According to Officer Carney, Defendant resisted the jailers and subsequently punched one deputy in the face while punching another deputy in the side of his head. One deputy sustained a bruised eye and a broken hand as a result of the incident. Officer Carney did note that the report reflected that Defendant was struck in the head by one of the correctional officers, although Officer Carney is unaware of the exact sequence of events,” the probation revocation documents read.
A federal judge revoked Hobbs’ probation earlier this month but dismissed the probation violations that were related to the incident in Camden County, CNN reported.
Federal court records showed Hobbs admitted to three other violations for traffic infractions, drug possession, and not informing his probation officer of travel.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: