COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – A former South Carolina public safety officer with the state Department of Mental Health was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree assault and misconduct in office, authorities said.
Vincent Nocera, from West Columbia, is accused of assaulting a juvenile patient while that juvenile was being sedated at William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute, warrants from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division say.
The warrant says that several public safety officers, including Nocera, were helping hold down a juvenile patient while they were being sedated. When the officers released the patient they began to kick.
“Vincent Nocera used excessive force and delivered four closed-fist punches to the calf-region … of the juvenile patient,” the warrant says.
Nearby officers shoved Nocera to the ground to prevent him from harming the patient, the warrant from SLED says.
The warrant claims Nocera — who served as a police officer in Cayce and Camden — also screamed obscenities at the juvenile.
The incident was caught on body camera video, according to the warrant.
Nocera was booked in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on June 2. He has since been released, according to jail records.
Nocera previously worked for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health in 2021 for a year before leaving to work as an officer in Camden. He returned to the SCDMH and worked for only two weeks before he was terminated, according to records from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
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