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SLED to investigate Charleston officer's encounter with woman

 SLED to investigate Charleston officer's encounter with woman

From our News Partners at WCIV-TV:

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- State police have been called in to investigate an encounter in downtown Charleston between an off-duty police officer and a woman.

According to police, the incident happened Sunday afternoon at Brittlebank Park on Lockwood Boulevard. Police say the incident began as a verbal encounter but escalated to a physical altercation.

The officer, identified as 27-year-old John Chitwood, was off duty and not in uniform at the time, police added.

According to the incident report, Chitwood's wife called police because she was worried for his safety. When officers arrived, they found Chitwood pinning the woman to the ground "in a manner to suggest he was detaining (her) until police" arrived.

Police officers separated the woman and Chitwood. The woman said Chitwood had pushed her to the ground. She claimed to be injured, but the report shows she did not have any visible injuries.

Then the woman told police the argument started when Chitwood threw away a toy gun he found on the playground. The woman said the toy belonged to her son, became upset, and said she would be calling police.

Chitwood told officers he told the woman he was a police officer and said he would gather her information to pass along to responding officers so the report was completed.

Then the report states Chitwood followed the woman to her car to get her license plate, but she used her body to hide her plates.

A fight ensued "and we did what we did," the woman reportedly told officers. She had some swelling under her left eye. Chitwood had some scratches, the report noted.

The State Law Enforcement Division was asked to look at the case after an internal review by the department. Chitwood is on administrative leave without pay, police said.

Chitwood has been a member of the police department for about a year.

Photo Credit: zimmytws Shutterstock


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