HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - A former Hickory Police officer has been arrested after he was indicted in an alleged beating of a woman in police custody and falsifying reports to cover it up.
According to Hickory Police, former sergeant Robert George, 45, was arrested Monday by Hickory Police and agents from the FBI,
The arrest follows an indictment by a federal grand jury on charges of using excessive force against a female arrestee and obstructing justice. The alleged incident happened on November 11, 2013.
Sources told WBTV in 2014 that the incident happened as George was attempting to take a woman into custody for disruptive behavior and resisting arrest. George said the woman fell to the pavement and was injured. The woman claimed George assaulted her.
The bill of indictment released Monday states George "slammed [the woman] face first to the ground" while her hands were cuffed behind her back. The document states that George then falsified a report, stating the woman "fell to the ground."
A mugshot of the woman released that night showed several facial injuries, though authorities could not comment on when those injuries occurred.
In 2014, an internal investigation was conducted, according to the Hickory Police Department, and officials determined that departmental policies had been violated and George was terminated.
Monday, District Attorney David Learner said George was indicted on state-level felony charges in 2014. but the charges were never tried because "every time the State calendared the case for trial, Mr. George's lawyer, Lisa Dubs, requested continuances that various judges allowed even though the State was prepared and ready to try the case."
Prosecutors worked with federal prosecutors to have the cases addressed at a federal level.
DA Learner says if George is convicted, he faces substantially more punishment in the federal court system than he would had he been convicted in state court.