OPELOUSAS, La. — Two Louisiana sheriff's deputies have been fired and face charges for allegedly beating a jail inmate.
Former St. Landry Parish deputies Damian Anderson, 30, of Eunice and Zachary Herpin, 39, of Scott, had been on administrative leave since Sept. 16, when a use of force complaint was filed against them, news outlets reported.
They later were arrested on charges of battery; both also face a charge of malfeasance in office, sheriff's Deputy Chief Eddie Thibodeaux said in a statement.
Bond information was not immediately available. It was unknown if either has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Anderson and Herpin are accused of punching an inmate in the face while he was in a restraint chair, Thibodeaux said. The officers claimed the inmate became “verbally abusive," prompting one to allegedly punch him multiple times. he said.
Herpin is also accused of spraying the inmate with a chemical while he was subdued by another deputy. Anderson is accused of slamming the inmate's head into a concrete wall as he was taken to a decontamination shower, Thibodeaux said.
Video showed that the inmate posed “little to no threat to the two officers and received an unlawful use of force,” Thibodeaux said.
Anderson and Herpin have since been fired.
“Anytime any officer uses unnecessary force to restrain an arrestee or inmate in custody, they will be investigated and the correct disciplinary action will be administered,” Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said in a statement.
“I am very disappointed that two of my own correctional officers used an unlawful use of force. We train our officers on the proper use of force, de-escalation techniques and voice command controls,” he said.