UNION — An officer is still on administrative leave after being injured last Wednesday trying to subdue a Fountain Inn man whose cause of death is still undetermined.
Jackie McBeth, 21, died at Wallace Thomson Hospital on Wednesday night after losing consciousness while being subdued by Union Public Safety officers and Union County Sheriff’s Office deputies. The officers and deputies were attempting to subdue McBeth who was reportedly assaulting a man on Hart Street.
Two officers and two deputies were injured while attempting to subdue McBeth. All were treated and released from the hospital. Lt. Troy Wright, public information officer for the public safety department, said Monday that one of the officers remains on administrative leave until a physician clears him to return to work.
An autopsy was performed on McBeth on Thursday, but Union County Coroner William Holcombe said Monday that the results are still pending.
The incident, which is being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division at the request of the public safety department, was preceded by a collision between two vehicles on Sardis Road just across the Duncan Bypass.
An investigation by the sheriff’s office determined that McBeth was the driver of a 1997 Honda Accord that collided with a 2005 Dodge pick-up causing the Dodge to wreck and damaging the Honda so it could not continue traveling. At the time of the collision, McBeth’s brother, George, was with him in the car. Both George McBeth and the driver of the Dodge, Mike O’Shields, were taken to Wallace Thomson and treated for their injuries.
On Monday, the public safety department released the incident report about the events following the wreck. It states that an officer dispatched to the wreck went to 524 Hart St. after witnesses told him an assault was taking place there.
When the officer arrived, he found McBeth assaulting a white male in the front yard. After the officer got out of his car and issued verbal commands, the report stated that McBeth began heading toward him. The officer used his Taser on McBeth, but it appeared have no effect. McBeth hit the officer in the face and knocked him to the ground.
A second officer saw McBeth attacking the first officer and used his Taser on McBeth, again with no effect. The officers managed to get handcuffs on McBeth but his hands were in front of him and he continued to resist. The officer McBeth had attacked used his Taser on him again, but this too proved ineffective. He then radioed for assistance.
More officers arrived as did county deputies who placed leg irons on McBeth’s ankles, enabling the first two officers to get up off the ground and seek medical attention.
The report stated that during the fighting, McBeth spit blood and saliva on several of the officers. It was shortly after he was restrained that McBeth lost consciousness and was taken by EMS to the hospital where he later died.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.