A cool-headed officer defused a dangerous hostage situation earlier this month at the Hill-Finklea Detention Center in Moncks Corner when he distracted a prisoner long enough to use pepper spray on him.
Video released Friday shows inmate Ronald Reid holding Sgt. Dawna Senitt in a choke hold while demanding to talk to his girlfriend.
“I could see that Sgt. Senitt was in distress. She was able to speak so I knew her airway was not being closed off from the choke,” Sgt. Lonnie Mizzell wrote in a police report about the Sept. 12 incident.
Under tense circumstances, Mizzell began making conversation with Reid.
“What’s wrong?” Mizzell asked.
“Get back. I want to talk to my girlfriend,” Reid said.
Mizzell offered his cell phone but Reid told him to get back again. Mizzell then told the suspect he would put the phone on a desk and walk away so he could use it it.
When Mizzell saw Reid look at the phone, he quickly doused him with pepper spray. He grabbed Reid’s neck and took both the suspect and Senitt to the ground, prying her away from Reid, the report states.
Before Senitt was taken hostage, an already-combative Reid had been brought to the detention center by the Moncks Corner Police Department and placed in an interview room, where he urinated all over the floor, the report states.
Senitt and another officer escorted Reid to a bathroom so he could put on a detention center uniform. At that time, Senitt removed leg irons from Reid. He then grabbed her from behind in a choke hold, using his left arm, police said.
Reid said he would not hurt Senitt if he could talk with his girlfriend. The other officer called for back-up and several officers responded. Reid told Senitt to tell the other officers to get back and that if they did he would not hurt her.
When Mizzell pepper-sprayed Reid, several other officers helped subdue him. After medical staff evaluated him, Reid was placed in a restraint chair.
Reid was charged with taking a hostage.
He had been jailed after Moncks Corner police pulled him over for running a red light. Police reportedly had to use a stun gun on him twice after he attacked officers trying to put him in a patrol car.