Dudley, NC – The mother of a woman who brawled with deputies at the Wayne County Fair on Saturday has filed a complaint alleging that one of the deputies used excessive force during the encounter (video below).
“He needs to be fired,” Lateryka Sanders told WTVD. “Looking at the video, I feel hurt, I feel betrayed, because my daughter should have been protected.”
Cell phone footage recorded by a bystander showed Sanders’ 18-year-old daughter, T’Ziah Kelly, as she fought with a deputy who was trying to lead her out of the fairgrounds.
Deputies originally responded to the area to break up a fight involving Kelly’s 16-year-old brother, WRAL reported.
Kelly took it upon herself to jump into the fray, resulting in the deputies’ decision to evict both her and her brother from the fairgrounds.
"I was like 'Why y'all grabbing him like that?'” Kelly told WTVD. “And they were like 'We can grab you like that too.' They yanked me and that's when the beginning of the video started.”
Kelly said she pulled away because the deputy was “grabbing” her.
“He didn’t have to – he was using excessive force,” she declared to WTVD.
"Yeah, I pulled away, but I feel like that wasn’t called for," she told WRAL. "He was grabbing me hard, and I pulled away and said, 'Quit grabbing me like that.' Like he was grabbing me hard, like that wasn’t called for."
But according to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), Kelly was causing problems with other fair patrons prior being escorted off the premises, Spectrum News reported.
“As the deputy and the suspect approached the exit gate, the suspect snatched away from the deputy, cursed at the deputy and began to struggle, resist and fight the deputy,” the WCSO said in a statement.
Video footage showed the deputies as they led Kelly and her brother down the midway.
Kelly then yanked her arm away from the deputy and attempted to pull the rest of her body away from him, the video showed.
The deputy managed to hold onto her, at which point she began flailing her left arm.
During the struggle that ensued, the officer delivered a strike that appeared to land on the side of Kelly’s head.
Kelly also took a swing at the deputy as additional officers and bystanders rushed into the melee.
“The deputy along with two other deputies in the area gained control of the suspect,” the WCSO said in the statement, according to Spectrum News. “The suspect was charged after refusing to leave the premises.”
Kelly, a freshman at Lenoir Community College, said she is worried that having criminal charges on her record will ruin her college basketball career, WTVD reported.
She has been charged with resisting an officer, trespassing, and assault, but claims it was the deputy who was in the wrong.
“I’m not going to feel safe around him,” she complained to WTVD.
Kelly said she is hopeful that the WCSO’s internal investigation into the incident will result in her charges being dismissed.
The deputy is still out on patrol while the incident is being investigated, WTVD reported.
Watch cell phone footage of the deputy’s altercation with Kelly in the video below (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT):