Father of inmate punched in face by deputy says daughter is mentally ill

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A deputy was charged after punching a female inmate in Gwinnett County. Aaron Masters was arrested on battery charges and resigned from the department.

The incident involving 26-year-old Shelby Clark was captured on surveillance video.

Channel 2's Christian Jennings spoke with Clark's father.

“Aint nobody should be beaten like that,” Brian Clark said.

Three punches to the face: That's what the Gwinnett County Sheriff said led to Masters' arrest.

"I was shocked when I seen her at the jail, but I was more shocked seeing the video," Brian Clark said. "He hit her so hard the whole eye was black and it busted a blood vessel in her eyeball."


The sheriff's office said that on Aug. 20, Shelby Clark attacked three deputies including Masters, who was punched in the groin.

She was subdued but once deputies left her cell, officials said, she started hurting herself. That's when deputies rushed back in and Masters punched her in the head.

"He shouldn't have done it. I forgive him, but he shouldn't have done it. She's mental and she has problems," Brian Clark said.

He added that the mental health system in Georgia has failed his daughter.

"I can't get help for her. I take her to hospitals. They keep her 13, 14 days, send her back home. It's a constant routine back and forth. It's not working," Brian Clark said.

He said his daughter suffers from microcephaly and borderline personality disorder, among other things.

"She's got microcephalous. It's where her brain never developed when she was little. So she's got a mind of a 9- or 10-year-old," Brian Clark said.

He said his daughter is in jail charged with misdemeanor simple battery after hitting a patient during one of her many hospital stays. But he said she needs help, not incarceration or this kind of treatment.

Meanwhile, sheriff's officials said all deputies undergo training on how to deal with mental health patients, and they have a new virtual simulator that will help with de-escalation training.