Deputies involved in altercation with suspect identified

LADSON, SC (WCSC) - The two Charleston County deputies involved in an altercation with a suspect Sunday afternoon have been identified.

Deputy Robert Bittner and Deputy Levi Reiter were released from the hospital late Sunday night after being treated for injuries, according to Charleston County Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson.

Bittner has been a deputy with Charleston County since February 2001 and Reiter was hired in June 2001, Watson said. Both men are recovering at their home with family, he said.

Watson said the incident began at approximately 4 p.m. Sunday when the two deputies responded to call about the suspect walking in the road near Highway 78 and Pinewood Drive. Watson said the man was somehow able to take one of the deputies' baton and struck both officers.

Authorities say the deputies were able to restrain the man with the help of six to 10 bystanders.

The suspect later died at an area hospital.

The two officers are on administrative leave with pay while the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division investigates the incident, a common practice and policy of the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, Watson said.

The Charleston County coroner will release additional information on the suspect.

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