Handicapped man injured after tussle with Dorchester deputies

HARLEYVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - A mentally-disabled man went to the hospital with injuries after he and two deputies fell into a glass door at the man's Harleyville home on March 1, according to his family and police reports.

"He's got the mind about like a child, a small child," said Herman Marchant, father of 45-year-old Bradley.

According to a Dorchester County Sheriff's Office incident report, two deputies were dispatched to a Highway 15 home, after a neighbor thought she heard a woman screaming. She told officers that she tried calling the home across the street but no one answered.

Police said they responded to the home, knocked several times at the door, saw the man moving around inside the home and peeking through the blinds at them, the report stated.

"I told him don't go outside, stay in the house and don't open door for any circumstance," Diane Marchant said of the instructions she gave her son, whom she said is epileptic and severely handicapped.

The report went on to say that the deputies yelled at the man several times, instructing him to come to the door. He refused. Then the garage door opened, the report states, and the man was standing in the driveway holding a six-inch knife.

"He got scared. That's why he got the knife. If somebody came in and got on him, he was going to try to protect himself," Herman Marchant said.

According to the report, the officers pulled their firearms and told the man to drop the knife and get on the ground. He dropped it after being told several times to do so. But, he did not get on the ground. Instead, he turned to go back inside, the report stated.

The deputies chased after the man and tried to take him down, which led to them crashing into a glass door. After that, deputies handcuffed the man, the report stated.

The report also stated deputies asked Bradley Marchant where his wife was. In response, the report said he shouted, "Let me out of these handcuffs and I'll tell you where she is. Let me out of these handcuffs and I'll tell you what you want to know."

ABC News 4 attempted to interview Bradley Marchant regarding the incident, but due to his handicap, he has trouble speaking coherently. His mother translated.

Soon after the incident, family members arrived and explained the honking horn and that the man had several medical conditions.

When the Marchants arrived, they demanded the officers leave their property. They said they'd been at a funeral in Newberry.

"I told them fellows to get out of my yard now. 'You got no business being here. And whoever beat him, I don't know what you beat him for,'" he said he told them.

The deputies offered to have Dorchester County EMS treat the injured man, but the parents again refused and told the deputies to leave.

The screaming the neighbor heard was actually another family member honking a car horn to get Bradley to come to the door and pick up his dinner, the Marchants told police.

No charges were filed in the case, but Sheriff LC Knight did issue a statement saying the knife in Bradley Marchant's hand led to the scuffle with the two deputies.{}

"Hecame out with a knife. Officers tried to talk him into listening to them. Hewouldn't listen. They had to carry him to the ground, and when they carried himto the ground-- naturally anybody is going to get bruised that you have totussle with. Again, we're sorry about his bruises. It's one of thoseunfortunate things. But, when my officers are there on a legitimate call, they've got to take control of the situation. When an individual faces you with aknife, you have no other alternative other than to take control of thesituation, which they did," he said.

The Marchants are considering legal action and will know about the extent of Bradley's injuries are seeing a doctor Thursday, they said.