Woman who says deputy beat her hires civil rights attorney - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Woman who says deputy beat her hires civil rights attorney

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Fox54 first showed you the video of a woman and a Richmond County deputy wrestling in the parking lot of a Denny's Restaurant. Ruth Jean, 24, says the deputy beat her, pulled her hair, and dug his knee into her back while he was arresting her. Witnesses say they were visiting Augusta for a church conference when one of their members was arrested.

"They threw him in the car so fast with no explanation," said Joshua Giles, a witness and a member of the church group. "Then everybody was asking, 'What did he do?' And then the next thing you know, Ruth came up and asked him very nicely, very politely; no aggression, 'What did he do? What did my pastor do?' and he pushes her."

 Jean was charged with obstructing law enforcement after Brandon Young, the man on her right, was arrested for disorderly conduct. Rewind the video, and there you see Deputy William Geisen telling Jean to move away from his car. Richmond County Sheriff's Office has launched an internal investigation. RSCO says Jean was blocking Deputy Geisen from making an arrest. 

"Citizen's can't intervene in the middle of a lawful arrest," said Ben Allen, of Benjamin Allen & Associates P.C. 

Allen is also a former judge. We spoke with him after Fox54 learned Jean hired a civil rights attorney out of Atlanta. He says if an officer clearly tells you you're under arrest, you must cooperate.

"That still doesn't mean that the policeman has the right to hit you; he doesn't have the right to talk ugly to you. The police officer should still maintain some level of civility," Allen said.

Jean has received a waiver for her court date tomorrow, and she said she won't be making the trip back to Augusta from her West Palm Beach home. Her court hearing will be held at the beginning of the year. Young will appear in court in December.

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