Three former deputies indicted by grand jury in June 2019 assault at Campbell County Jail


CAMPBELL COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Wednesday that three former Campbell County deputies had been indicted on charges in connection to a June 2019 assault on a detainee at the Campbell County Jail.

According to the TBI, its special agents assisted in the investigation following the incident, in which a now-former deputy assaulted a man who had been arrested just after midnight on June 2, 2019. The two other deputies charged were present during the assault.

The TBI saying that Justin Crabtree, 24, was employed as a deputy for the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, assaulted a detainee as they were being booked into jail. The two other CCSO deputies, Dakota Williams, 23, and Sean Brown, 20, were present during the assault.

The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office released a narrative Wednesday that gave further context to events that led to the assault.

According to CCSO, on June 2, 2019 around 12:15 a.m., CCSO deputies were dispatched to the Wildwood Circle area of LaFollette on a report of a suspicious person/vehicle. When deputies arrived, they encountered a man identified as Nathan Ling, who CCSO says fled officers on foot and ignored their commands to comply.

Ling was taken into custody after rendering himself unconscious when he ran into a parked vehicle; deputies called for medical personnel to evaluate Ling and when paramedics arrived, Ling regained consciousness and started to fight the responding deputies.

Deputies were able to detain Ling a second time, CCSO said, and took him to the Campbell County Jail. Upon arrival at the jail, Ling “became even more aggressive, attempting to bite, kick and spit on deputies” and during the struggle, Deputy Crabtree struck Ling in the face.

Four officers, CCSO said in its release, were required to get Ling in compliance.

On Wednesday, Dec. 18, a Campbell County grand jury charged Crabtree with one count of aggravated assault and one count of official oppression by way of indictment. The grand jury charged Williams and Brown with one count of official misconduct, one count of official oppression, and one count of assault by way of presentment.

CCSO Sheriff Robbie Goins stated Wednesday, “We have been aware of this investigation and have fully cooperated from the beginning and will continue to until its conclusion.”

The TBI saying on Wednesday evening, Crabtree turned himself in and was booked into the Campbell County Jail on a $10,000 bond. Brown and Williams were booked into the Campbell County Jail and released on their own recognizance.


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