Back in February of 2014, a 27-year-old man named Joshua Bagwell was arrested by Honea Path police officers in South Carolina. When he arrived at the detention center, the staff there denied him entrance due to the serious injuries he sustained during a traffic stop. Police had beaten him so badly that he had broken facial bones and teeth, but a 34-year-old male in the city may have just gotten it worse.
Honea Path Police Brutality
Honea Path police reports state that on Nov. 14, they observed a car go by that had a potential connection to drug activity. Of course, they didn’t say how they made the connection. The man behind the wheel was 34-year-old Brian Hatcher.
By the time the traffic stop was over, Hatcher was in a local hospital with a head injury, a shattered jaw, an eye that was nearly dislodged from his socket, a shattered ear drum and a nose that was broken in numerous places. There were also several cuts to the man’s face.
Potential Trumped-Up Charges
Hatcher’s family showed up at the hospital the same night of their loved one’s admission. Upon arrival, the victim’s sister was handed citations for her brother related to driving under suspension, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving and failing to stop for blue lights. Police say that the man didn’t immediately stop when they tried to pull him over.
Police also claim that the suspect had a knife and resisted arrest. Strangely enough, though, Hatcher’s sister says she wasn’t given a resisting arrest citation at the same time her brother’s other tickets were handed to her. She says that the resisting arrest charge was not issued until the following day, and this was after the media had found out about the incident. Additionally, the incident report claiming that a knife was involved wasn’t released until three days after the stop.
A History Of Violence
The 27-year-old man who suffered serious injuries from the Honea Path police in February is currently in a lawsuit with the two officers who pulled over the vehicle he was in, as well as with the Honea Path Police Department. The lawsuit names “Officer Bickard” (actually Brian Picard) and “Officer Shaw” (Robert Shaw) as defendants.
Strangely enough, the citations that were issued to Brian Hatcher, or handed to his sister since he was listed as “in serious condition” by the hospital on Nov. 18, also had an “Officer Shaw” listed on them. Once again, it was Robert Shaw. His second beating of a suspect in less than a year. Both of the officers involved in the Hatcher beating are currently on leave until an investigation is complete.
Hatcher had to undergo facial reconstructive surgery on Nov. 16 for his injuries. Although the claims of him having a knife and resisting arrest seem slightly suspicious, it’s understandable that if this is the case, police may have had to defend themselves. It’s hard to imagine a situation, though, where two officers would be in a position to break someone’s entire face, destroy their hearing and nearly knock their eyeball out of their skull.
Seems a bit much, no?
Brian Hatcher’s injuries:
(Photos provided by victim’s family)