Fired Deputy Faces Assault Charge For Body Slamming Child

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A sheriff’s deputy was caught on video body slamming a middle school student to the ground twice before dragging the child down the hallway. 

Now, the deputy, identified as Warren Durham, is facing misdemeanor assault charges, the Vance County district attorney, Mike Waters, announced Tuesday (Dec. 17), CBS 17 reports

Durham will be charged with misdemeanors including assault on a child under 12 and child abuse, with a maximum penalty of 120 days in jail, CBS 17 reports.

On Monday (Dec. 16), the Vance County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to CBS News that the deputy was fired after initially being placed on paid leave.

Lieutenant James Goolsby of the sheriff’s office said the State Bureau of Investigation was investigating the incident, which was captured on surveillance video, CBS News reports.

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The video shows the deputy walking a student down a hallway on Thursday (Dec. 12) before suddenly stopping, turning toward the child, who weighs 70 pounds, and slamming him on the ground twice. The deputy then dragged him down the hallway, CBS News reports. 

The family of the boy told CBS News he was knocked out after being slammed. 

Waters told reporters Tuesday (Dec. 17) that the boy was seen in the emergency room following the incident as a precaution and followed up with his primary care physician on Monday (Dec. 16), CBS 17 reports. 

“By the grace of God, he does not have any serious injuries,” Waters said, CBS 17 reports, adding that “the student did not suffer any fractures or broken bones or sustained any injuries that could be defined under North Carolina law as serious bodily injury.” 

For those reasons, Waters said, the deputy cannot be charged with a felony, CBS 17 reports.

“As a school system, as an administrator, as a district, we’re disappointed,” the school’s superintendent, Anthony Jackson, told reporters on Monday (Dec. 16), CBS News reports.

Jackson called the incident an “unacceptable and egregious act” and publicly apologized to the student’s family, CBS News reports.

“As a community, we’re embarrassed, and most of all, we want to express our apologies to our community that this has occurred,” Jackson added, CBS News reports.

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After reviewing the “graphic” video, Sheriff Curtis Brame said he handed the investigation over to the State Bureau of Investigation, CBS News reports.

“When we first saw the video, we were stunned, we were shocked. We all are parents and grandparents that have children at that same age, so it brought some great concern to us,” Brame told CBS Raleigh affiliate WNCN, CBS News reports. “(The video) is very graphic. I don’t expect my deputy or any deputy or law enforcement in North Carolina to carry out their duties in that way.”

The boy’s father said he’s recovering at home and the boy’s sister said he’ll be OK, CBS News reports.

“This should never have happened,” Superintendent Jackson said, CBS News reports. “We’re going to make sure that we do what is necessary for every single child who attends a school in Vance County to do so in a safe environment without any fear of anything close to this ever happening.” 

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