SLED investigating assault involving WDPS officer, detainee

WINNSBORO – A South Carolina Law Enforcement Department (SLED) spokeswoman confirmed in a telephone conversation with The Voice on Tuesday that SLED is investigating Winnsboro Department of Public Safety officer Lt. Peter Jackson in connection with an assault on a prisoner who, with his hands cuffed behind his back, was brought in to the County’s Detention Center by Jackson. The prisoner, Andrew Campanelli, 31, who listed his address as the Good Samaritan House, had been arrested for allegedly throwing two bottles of Mountain Dew at a convenience store clerk when she told him his ID was out of date.

The Voice got a tip five days later, on Oct. 13, that Jackson might be under investigation by SLED for assaulting Campanelli.

Eight days after the incident, on Monday, Oct. 16, The Voice requested reports on the incident from WDPS and the Detention Center video from both Deputy County Administrator Davis Anderson and WDPS. Seibles released a sketchy 4-line report about the Mountain Dew incident, but there was no mention in the report that Campanelli had been unruly or assaulted Jackson during the arrest.

An attached supplemental report released by WDPS about the Oct. 8 Detention Center incident contained no copy other than the officer’s name, age and other personal information at the top. There was no mention of the alleged assault at the Detention Center. It was also ambiguous as to whether Jackson was the victim or the assailant.

When pressed on Tuesday, Oct. 17, for details about the Detention Center incident, Seibles said he could not provide a narrative of the officer’s reported assault on Campanelli and also did not make it clear whether such a report exited. However, Seibles also said that he could not release the incident report to The Voice while SLED is investigating the incident.

However, while SLED might use the incident report in its investigation, that does not preclude WDPS from providing them to The Voice, according to Bill Rogers, Executive Director of the S.C. Press Association.

Section 30-4-30 of the S.C. Freedom of Information Act states:

(D) The following records of a public body must be made available for public inspection and copying during the hours of operations of the public body…without the requestor being required to make a written request to inspect or copy the records when the requestor appears in person:

(2) all reports identified in Section 30-4-50 (A) (8) for at least the fourteen-day period before the current day.

Section 30-4-50 (A) (8) includes incident reports – those reports which disclose the nature, substance and location of any crime or alleged crime reported as having been committed.

According to S.C. law, the incident report about the alleged assault at the Detention Center involving Lt. Peter Jackson and Andrew Campanelli comes under this provision. According to the state statute, those documents should be provided upon request.

On Tuesday, Oct. 17, Seibles told The Voice that it was the officer who was assaulted by Campanelli and that Jackson was not arrested, faced no discipline for the incident and is still on duty.

“I haven’t received any complaints about the incident, so it wouldn’t give me any reason to look at the officer,” Seibles said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, WDPS released a full incident report prepared by Jackson that outlined how, when Jackson brought Campanelli into the Detention Center and asked Campanelli to stand against the wall to be searched, Campanelli refused.

“I placed my hands on his right arm,” Jackson reported. “At this time, the offender jumped in the air, swinging his head back intentionally, hitting me below my left eye. At this time, I pushed the offender to the wall. The offender hit the wall and it caused a laceration to the left side of his chin. The offender was placed in the cell.”

Along with the incident report on the Detention Center incident, Seibles also provided an expended version of the Mountain Due incident, in which Jackson reported new information – that Campanelli became irate when Jackson picked Campanelli up to take him back to the convenience store for identification.

While Seibles said he did not receive any complaints about the incident from anyone, including the Detention Center or his officers, Anderson said he received four reports on the incident as well as a video provided by the Detention Center.

“I turned the video over to the Sheriff (Will Montgomery) and he made the determination to turn them over to SLED for investigation,” Anderson said.

Asked if he had viewed the video, Seibles said he had not.

“I left it alone. I didn’t want to impede SLED’s investigation,” Seibles said.

Campanelli was charged with Assault and Battery, 3rd degree in the Mountain Dew incident and released on a $275 bond to await a court date.

He was also charged with Resisting/Assault, beat or wound police officer while resisting arrest and released on a $3,000 bond in the Detention Center incident.