LINCOLNTON, N.C. (WBTV) - A Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy left the sheriff’s office following a WBTV investigation into the deputy’s use of force on a 16-year-old outside an emergency room.
A spokesman for the sheriff confirmed that Justin Polson no longer worked with the sheriff’s office in an email Saturday night.
The spokesman said Polson was no longer employed at the office as of Saturday, February 15. He did not specify whether Polson was fired or resigned and said the sheriff would not make any further comment.
Polson’s departure came two days after a WBTV investigation into an incident in which a 16-year-old who had been taken to the emergency room by his mother, who suspected her son was having a mental health emergency, was violently assaulted by two hospital security guards and Polson.
The video shows Polson arrived at the Atrium Health - Lincolnton emergency room with three other deputies after two hospital security guards had tackled the 16-year-old boy to the ground, stunned him with a taser, handcuffed him and sat on him for nearly ten minutes as he bled from the mouth.
As the deputies sat the boy up, the video shows, the boy spit blood out of his mouth. The video shows Polson respond by punching the boy twice in the head.
In an interview with WBTV earlier this week, Sheriff Bill Beam defended Polson’s actions.
“Deputy Polson had a reaction to a felonious assault,” Beam said. “Spitting in a law enforcement officer’s face-spitting blood in a law enforcement officer’s face-is a felonious assault and he had a right to stop that assault from occurring.”
Later in the interview, Beam claimed Polson didn’t punch the boy at all.
“All I saw was once and he was pushing him back away,” Beam said.
After Polson punched the boy in the head, the video shows him get up and approach the boy’s mother before being shoved away by a second deputy, who had to pull him to the ground to control him.
Beam also denied Polson had to be pulled to the ground.
The boy is facing multiple charges, including a felony county of assault on a law enforcement officer for spitting on Polson.
A court hearing on the boy’s charges is scheduled in Lincoln County for Monday afternoon.