Gaffney, South Carolina police officer charged with assault, spitting

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According to police reports, a Gaffney police officer assaulted a woman, was disorderly at a North Carolina casino and fought police officers at a jail on the same day.

On January 22, the Cherokee Indian Police Department near Swain County, North Carolina, charged Dillion Lee Haney with domestic assault, resisting arrest, malicious conduct by a prisoner, illegally carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a weapon while intoxicated, and improper conduct.

Haney was a police officer with the Gaffney Police Department at the time of his arrest, according to his record as an officer. A spokesman for the Gaffney Police Department said Haney was released on Jan. 24. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but after investigating his conduct while in custody, the Gaffney Police Chief fired Haney, the spokesman said.

The sequence of events that landed Haney in prison is unclear from police reports. But on January 22, police reports said Haney was at Harrah’s Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina, with a loaded concealed gun, which is illegal there. He reportedly got into an argument while intoxicated with a police officer who confronted him in the casino. He “yelled and yelled,” used abusive language, and resisted and attacked officers, the reports said.

The casino incident resulted in three misdemeanor charges.

Sometime that same day, Haney assaulted a woman, reportedly a relative, by pulling and holding her hair and slapping her four times in the face.

When officers from the Cherokee Indian Police Department showed up to investigate the reported domestic assault, Haney spat at one of the officers, the reports said.

Officers arrested Haney and took him to jail. In prison, Haney fought with officers again, the reports said. In one instance, he fell to the ground and wrapped his legs around an officer to trip the officer.

He was charged with two misdemeanors and one charge of malicious conduct by a prisoner.

Haney had been a police officer for just over a year, his record shows. He began working with Gaffney Police on January 14, 2021.

He is scheduled to appear at a court hearing in North Carolina on February 22.

Contact information for an attorney for Haney could not be found.

In April, The State reported on the troubling number of South Carolina police officers charged with violence against women from 2010-2020. Most of those charges were domestic violence. On average, nine police officers a year are accused of violence against women in the country. Survivor advocates and police policymakers said the estimate is likely underestimated and does not give an accurate picture of the extent of the violence, as victims do not always report the abuse for fear of further abuse.

Last year in South Carolina, more police officers than usual were charged with violence against women.

This story was originally published Jan 29, 2022 3:11 p.m.

David Travis Bland won the SC Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. He joined The State in 2018. He writes about crime, law enforcement and the criminal justice system. In 2010 he graduated from the University of South Carolina.
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