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$10,000 Awarded to SC Man Kicked in the Mouth By Sheriff’s Deputy

by Joe Watson

Robert Barnes saved a York County, S.C. sheriff’s deputy from facing criminal assault and battery charges by settling prior to trial in July 2008 for $10,000 for injuries he sustained when the deputy kicked him in the face as he sat on the floor of the county jail.

York County Sheriff’s Deputy Brannon Nance was processing Barnes after an arrest when he claims that Barnes kicked a sock at him, though Barnes said he did nothing to warrant Brannon’s actions. Brannon contended that the only appropriate course of “self-defense” was kicking Barnes in the mouth.

Barnes, who was a 42-year-old construction worker at the time of the assault, suffered mouth injuries, including loose front teeth. He sought damages for dental injuries, as well as pain and suffering. Barnes also claimed that York County and its sheriff’s department failed to properly supervise and train Brannon and was responsible for his actions.

The county argued that Brannon was acting in the course of his duties and was defending himself against Barnes, and it also disputed the extent of Barnes’ injuries, which ultimately required prosthetic repair. The case was settled in York County’s Court of Common Pleas, and affirmed by Judge Lee S. Alford. See: Barnes v. Nance, York County Ct. Com. Pl. (S.C.), Case No. 2006-CP-4600608.

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Related legal case

Barnes v. Nance