Mental Health Public Service Officer accused of assaulting juvenile patient

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Agents have charged a former Department of Mental Health Public Safety Officer with assault, battery, and misconduct in the office.

On June 2, agents charged Vincent Nocera, 38, from West Columbia with assault and battery in the third degree. Officials have not released the name of the victim because they are a juvenile.

According to SLED, on January 31 of this year, medical staff injected a patient with sedatives, and after the medicine was given to the patient, officers loosened their grips. Then, the patient started to kick, and Nocera punched the patient four times in the calf. Other officers intervened and tackled Nocera to the ground, where he cursed at the patient twice, SLED says. A supervisor then took Nocera out of the room, SLED says.

Officials say the entire incident was recorded by the facility and body-worn cameras, and statements from witnesses were also given.

Law enforcement took Nocera to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on Friday.

SLED says his case will be prosecuted by the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

This is a developing story, check back at wsoctv.com for updates.

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