Report: Marshal who arrested teacher at school board meeting previously accused of using excessive force

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The law enforcement officer who arrested a teacher at a Vermilion Parish school board meeting during an incident that has gained international attention was previously accused of using excessive force against a man in 2012, according to a report from The Advocate.

Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillion, whose law enforcement agency was not involved in the incident, issued a statement Wednesday, January 10 identifying the Abbeville city marshal who arrested Deyshia Hargrave as Reginald Hilts. The statement also directed the public to direct their inquiries and comments about the incident to the Abbeville City Marshal's Office and the Vermilion Parish School Board.

The Advocate cited a lawsuit that alleges Hilts, who at the time was an officer with the Scott Police Department, and another officer, Mark Venable, did not have provocation when they slammed the head of a 62-year-old man who was in poor health against a concrete slab. Following the incident, the man's head began to bleed profusely, the newspaper reports.

The lawsuit identified the plaintiff as Bruce Falcon, who is a hepatitis C patient and has an enlarged spleen. Falcon also suffered fractured ribs and additional injuries, according to the lawsuit.

Hilts and Venable did not dispute Falcon's claims of the incident that left him injured. The Advocate reported the lawsuit ended in 2017 with a confidential settlement.

Neither Hilts nor the Abbeville City Marshal's Office has commented publicly since the incident Monday night.

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