Woman says she was wrongfully arrested by security firm - FOX Carolina 21

Greenville woman says she was wrongfully arrested by security firm

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

On Saturday, Anderson County deputies said India Lomax crashed into a telephone pole down the road from Marvon's Place after she was shot in the back by a security officer with Black Ops security.

A woman in Greenville, who wants to remain anonymous, said the story from this weekend sounds familiar.

She said that in April, she and friends were leaving Cream Nightclub on Congaree Road when a Black Ops Security guard approached her. She said by the end of the night, she was in jail, charged with resisting arrest, trespassing and disorderly conduct.

"I don't think I was causing any threat. I wasn't bugging him. It wasn't like I was going to hit him, but he said he was going to Taze me," the woman explained.

She and her friends called Greenville police when the security guard said he was going to arrest her. She said she didn't think a security guard had that authority.

But according to South Carolina law, some security guards can make arrests if they're properly trained and regulated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Greenville attorney Grant Varner said.

"These private security personnel can only have power on specific property, and it's private property. They can't go out on a public road. They can't chase somebody across town," said Varner.

Greenville police said the security guards can't take anyone they arrest to a jail. Local law enforcement needs to get involved then.

"Anytime they make an arrest, local law enforcement has to step in and do a second investigation," said Johnathan Bragg with the Greenville Police Department.

Bragg said these types of firms are good in that there is more armed presence at bars or clubs that have clientele who may get rowdy, but because of the restrictions involved, police officers still need to show up to do a second investigation and drive any suspects to jail. He said that takes up time.

Anderson County deputies said the guard at Marvon's told them that he was assigned to work the property next door, too, where the shooting actually took place.

The owner of the gas station that clubgoers often use for overflow parking told FOX Carolina that they never hired anyone to protect their property and never allowed the security guards to be there.

The local owner of Black Ops, Melvin Jackson, said that his security guards go through the SLED training that's required.

Jackson didn't comment about the Greenville incident, but about the Anderson one, he said, "We are working with all law enforcement in connection with this case. The security guard has been placed on paid administrative leave for his safety."

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