Ex-Beauregard deputy arrested for three counts of simple battery

Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 9:24 PM CDT
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BEAUREGARD PARISH, La. (KPLC) - An ex-Beauregard deputy was arrested and another deputy was terminated following an investigation into a complaint of unjustified force.

According to the Beauregard Parish Sheriff Mark Herford, on Monday, April 5, 2021, the sheriff’s office received a complaint regarding an unjustified use of force by a deputy.

Herford says the allegation involved two deputies who were assigned to the Beauregard Parish Jail. An investigation was immediately begun by the Detective Division.

The investigation revealed that one inmate was allegedly sprayed with a chemical agent, and a second inmate was allegedly tased on two occasions without cause, according to Herford.

Herford says the investigation further revealed the two deputies were in violation of Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office Policy and Procedures. As a result, both deputies were terminated.

Josh Benefield, was arrested for three counts of simple battery on Thursday, April 8, and booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail, where he subsequently posted bond. No criminal charges were applicable to the second deputy, according to Herford, as he allegedly pointed a taser and threatened an inmate.

Statement from Sheriff Herford:

“I am extremely disappointed in the actions of these two individuals. We hold ourselves to a higher standard than that. The public puts a lot of trust in us, and it’s our responsibility to act as professionals. We enforce the law equally and fairly to everyone, including the deputies of this department, with no exceptions.”

Immediate refresher training concerning the use of force and the Sheriff’s Office Policy and Procedure was started the day after the sheriff’s office learned of the incident.

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