A sheriff’s deputy in Hunts County, Texas, is under investigation after being caught on video hitting a 38-year-old woman who loudly told him she was pregnant, the Dallas Observer reported.
The footage shows Deanna Jo Robinson, an Air Force veteran, being restrained from behind by the unidentified officer and another deputy during a March 4 incident at her parents’ home, where she said sheriff’s officials forced their way in without a warrant to take her 18-month-old son on orders of Child Protective Services (CPS).
The video, taken from a surveillance camera inside the home, cuts out after the officer raises his hand to hit her again. Robinson, who said she was struck four or five times, can be heard saying several times that she is pregnant.
“I’m 38 weeks pregnant, and with my stomach again repeatedly pressed into that counter, and with my 18-month old son watching his mother be assaulted, and him screaming in fear,” she told WFAA-TV this week. “There’s nothing that warrants what they did to me.”
Robinson spent six days in county jail after being arrested and charged with assault on a public servant, resisting arrest and interference with child custody. She said she took the boy with her to her parents’ house after getting into a shoving match with her husband several days earlier.
According to the Observer, CPS officials removed the husband’s other three children away from his custody a day before Robinson’s encounter with police. One of the children’s teachers reportedly alerted the agency regarding the couple’s altercation. All four children are currently in state custody.
Video of the officer hitting Robinson was posted online last weekend. Sheriff Randy Meeks announced the investigation on his department’s Facebook page, saying it came in response to an “Internet allegation.”
“I have become aware of an internet allegation accusing one of my deputies of improper actions,” Meeks stated. “I have initiated an administrative investigation to determine if any policy violations occurred. Public confidence and trust in the Sheriff’s Office is a high priority for me and we take all allegations of misconduct seriously.”
Robinson gave birth weeks after the encounter. She said the newborn child is currently in her parents’ custody.
WFAA’s report on the incident, as aired on Monday, can be seen here.
Watch the original footage, as posted online, below.