Former deputy found guilty for improperly using Taser - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Former deputy found guilty of simple assault after tasing electrician

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Deputy Reed Roberts (Source: NHCSO) Deputy Reed Roberts (Source: NHCSO)
Roberts was found guilty of simple assault in court. Roberts was found guilty of simple assault in court.
The victim of the incident and witnesses in court. The victim of the incident and witnesses in court.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A deputy who was recently fired from the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office was found guilty of assaulting a man who was trying to turn his power back on.

Officials charged Reed Roberts in November with misdemeanor simple assault for using his taser against an electrician who was trying to help restore power to his house in Pender County.

Roberts was found guilty of simple assault Wednesday and sentenced to 30 days in jail suspended and 48 hours of community service. He was also ordered to take anger management classes and will not be able to serve as a Law Enforcement Officer in the state of North Carolina again.

According to prosecutors, Jerome Wallace had just finished reconnecting the power, after it had been disconnected due to an unpaid bill, when Roberts approached him. According to witness testimony, Roberts started cussing at Wallace asking him not to leave the property because he believed Wallace had damaged his property.

Investigators said that Roberts was upset because some logs had been moved when the electrician went to the meter box to restore the power.

Wallace testified that he was trying to leave the property when Roberts tased him. That's when Wallace said he pepper sprayed the defendant. Roberts then admittedly went back into his home to get a gun, however, by the time he came back outside with it, the victim was driving away.

The New Hanover County Sheriff fired Roberts shortly after the incident as a result of his actions.

In court Wednesday, District Attorney Ben David said this incident was "an assault and nothing else." He went on to explain it was not justifiable and was inexcusable.

"This was an absolutely un-acceptable use of force by an off-duty officer, who was not acting in the capacity as a law officer he was acting as a mad homeowner who was feeling disrespected because his power had been shut off and he was taking matters into his own hands," said David. "The truth is the sheriff took his badge that night, I was here to take his credentials forever."

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