HOWARD COUNTY – The Howard County sheriff’s office is investigating after an incarcerated woman claims she was battered by a Corrections Officer at Howard County Jail.
The sheriff’s office received the complaint on January 3, which led to an investigation by the Criminal Investigations Division.
The investigation revealed that the woman, who was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated, was engaging in tumultuous behavior and yelling explicitly at the Corrections Officer from her cell.
In order to prevent further disruption, it was determined that the woman be removed from her cell and placed into a WASP restraint. She was removed from her cell and placed in handcuffs to transport her to the different cell.
Investigation found that once she was outside of the cell, the Corrections Officer Colin M. Byrd, swept her by her feet, which caused her to fall to the floor and caused a laceration above her right eye. The laceration required emergency room medical attention.
According to the investigation, this action was done by Byrd without just cause.
During an interview with Byrd, he stated that the incarcerated woman pushed him while they were standing outside the cell. Byrd claims that he thought he was going to lose control of his positioning, which led him to put his leg in front of her and put her on the floor face down. Byrd initially says that he conducted himself in an appropriate manner, but later states that he could have handled the situation better and that he didn’t mean to put her on the ground that hard.
Further investigation concluded that the woman was placed in handcuffs and was inside of a secured facility with no chance of escape meaning the risk to Officer Byrd’s safety was minimal and that Byrd has previously been disciplined for a similar use of force incident.
Based on these circumstances, a prosecutive review was sent to the Howard County Prosecutor’s Office to determine if criminal charges will be filed.
On January 20, 22-year-old Colin M. Byrd was charged with Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury, a level 6 felony.
The Howard County Sheriff’s Office emphasizes that this is merely an allegation, and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.