Police officers fired for beating that left man with broken jaw, arm, nose, skull fracture, ruptured ear drum, blind in one eye

Two Honea Path police officers have been fired following an investigation into an arrest during which a man was injured badly enough that he needed reconstructive surgery.

Honea Path Police Chief David King said Brian Hatcher was arrested and charged in November 2014 with failure to stop for a blue light, driving under suspension and resisting arrest. He was 34 at the time of the arrest.

Hatcher’s family said that his nose was broken in several places and that his jaw was shattered. Hatcher’s right eardrum was shattered and his right eye was almost dislodged from its socket, they said.

Hatcher was taken to AnMed Health and then transferred to Greenville Memorial in serious condition. He underwent reconstructive surgery on his face, his sister, Shirley Hatcher, said.

Police said they believed that Brian Hatcher had a knife when they tried to arrest him.

Honea Path officials sent out a release Wednesday saying that the officers, Robert Joshua Shaw and John Bell, were fired last Friday after a State Law Enforcement Division Investigation.

The release said: “Based on information provided by SLED and after meeting with the Solicitor’s Office the HPPD has no option, other than, to terminate these two officers.

“This November 14, 2014, incident began when B.J. Hatcher failed to stop for blue lights and the chase continued out of the town limits of Honea Path on Highway 76 toward Princeton.

“Officers reported that Hatcher exited his vehicle armed with an object that appeared to be a knife. Several items, including a knife, were placed into evidence. Both officers stated force was used to disarm and restrain Hatcher, who was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

“On the following day, I received numerous questions/allegations concerning excessive force. The procedure for these type (of) allegations is to contact the SLED. Both officers were placed on administrative leave. All evidence was turned over to SLED. This investigation is still ongoing by SLED.

“Concerning previous questions about the hiring procedures by the Honea Path Police Department, none of the previous employers for either officer, indicated any excessive force issues and nothing was ever reported to SCCJA to raise concerns in our hiring process.

“This termination does not affect any ongoing investigations by SLED or any other agencies concerning the allegations of excessive force. There will be no other statements by the Honea Path Police Department until all investigations are complete.”

 

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