TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – A former Colbert County deputy was indicted for second-degree assault in connection with an incident where he allegedly used excessive force.

Colbert County Sheriff Eric Balentine told News 19 that Eric Puryear was accused of using excessive force twice in 2022. The first incident happened on February 23, and the second happened on December 17.

Balentine said he was made aware of the situation shortly after he took office on January 17. The Colbert County Sheriff’s Office began an internal investigation, and Puryear was fired less than a week later.

“We viewed all the body cam footage,” Balentine said. “It was not favorable for this deputy. It was clear to us that he had violated 7 departmental policies and we had to take action as soon as possible.”

In the first incident, Puryear allegedly used excessive force to detain 50-year-old Robert Hand after responding to a report of a suspicious male on County Line Road.

Puryear turned himself into the Colbert County Jail and was later released on a $7,500 bond.

Balentine later said that it was important for him to deal with the issue and terminate Puryear quickly after learning about the situation.

“It’s about being transparent and letting our citizens know that we don’t tolerate certain types of behavior, and this is one of those incidents and we dealt with it accordingly in my opinion.”