A cop employed by the Columbia Police Department in South Carolina has been suspended without pay after a video emerged showing the officer repeatedly punching a man who had been lying face-down on the ground.
The footage, which first surfaced on Sunday, appears to show Columbia Investigator Tyrone Pugh – an eight year veteran of the force with 28 years of military service under his belt – attacking a man after a fight erupted in the parking lot of a local entertainment venue early that morning at around 2 a.m.
“Stay on the ground! Stay on the ground!” Pugh is recorded yelling while kneeling on the man.
“Why are you punching him?” a woman is heard screaming during the 30-second clip.
“Back the f*** up!” the officer barks in response.
The video appears to show Pugh punching the unidentified man no fewer than five times on or around his head while the victim lay on the ground of the parking lot.
According to South Carolina newspaper The State, the amateur videographer who captured the incident on film said the victim was not involved in a fight that occurred moments earlier and had prompted five nearby off-duty cops to response to an ordeal in the parking lot of Columbia Soundstage.
“He said, ‘I didn’t do anything.’ He wasn’t resisting,” the photographer, Robyn Fogg, told the paper. “”I think it was unnecessary. Two other cops there were aggressive but not like that.”