Sussex Police headquarters in Lewes
A POLICE officer punched a schoolboy in the head while arresting him.
Brighton-based PC Daniel Patterson hit the 15-year-old outside his home and applied pressure behind the youngster’s ear because he was resisting arrest.
The officer then used his foot “to control” him alongside two colleagues before the boy was taken into custody on the day of January 18 last year.
The boy was arrested for causing a breach of the peace but it is now being alleged the force used by PC Patterson to restrain the boy was unreasonable.
Police were called to the scene by the teenager’s father, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
PC Patterson was called to a misconduct hearing over the incident.
Yesterday at Sussex Police’s headquarters in Lewes, he was put before a panel which included Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, to determine whether or not the officer’s actions were unreasonable.
PC Patterson, wearing his work uniform, did not speak at the hearing. He did, in his statement of the arrest, admit punching the boy with a closed fist and applying pressure, multiple times, behind his right ear.
The defence claimed the boy was “extremely hard to control” which is why PC Patterson believed his actions were appropriate.
The father was “not overly concerned” about his son’s behaviour despite calling 999, the panel was told.
However, the defence claimed the father “presented himself very differently” on the body-worn camera. They say the teenager’s dad acts like “someone who is terrified” of the behaviour of his own child.
The hearing has been adjourned until April so the panel can hear evidence from PC Patterson’s two colleagues who were with him at the scene – one of which caught some of it on their body-worn camera.
PC Patterson has not been suspended from his duties while the allegations against him stand.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Suspension is a neutral act and can be done for a number of reasons – primarily to ensure the integrity of an investigation, prevent interference with evidence or witnesses or because it is in the public interest to do. Suspension must be considered on a case by case basis – not least because the officers are being paid to work from taxpayers funds – and the alleged breaches of the standards of professional behaviour must be taken into account.”
Source: The Argus