Former Horry County police officer charged with assault, battery

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A man who served as both a lieutenant and a patrol officer with the Horry County Police Department has been charged with assault and battery.

According to Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier, 48-year-old Kevin Lee Duke served as a lieutenant with the HCPD until his retirement in November 2011. He returned to the force just two weeks later as a patrol officer and retired again in May 2012.

Then in December 2012, his name appeared on a police report in North Myrtle Beach, as the suspect in an assault. That report states that Duke was impatiently waiting for a parking spot at the North Myrtle Beach Walmart, honking his horn and swearing at a couple in the parking lot.

Duke then allegedly punched the male before assaulting his wife, and the whole incident was captured on Walmart's surveillance cameras.

The report states Duke jumped out of his vehicle unprovoked and initiated the assault against the couple.

The man received three fractured bones in his head, a swollen black left eye and a cut on his left eyelid above his left eye that required stitches.

Duke was arrested and charged with two counts of assault and battery on Dec. 23. He was released from J. Reuben Long Detention Center less than two hours later with a $2,500 bond.

"I think that we've certainly had enough incidences at all the Walmarts across South Carolina and I think that Walmart should probably start supplying security to its facilities and to its outside grounds because obviously if people are scared to come to Walmart they're not gonna come anymore," Walmart Shopper Brendan Curran said.

"You never know what you're gonna run into. You know? It's all about the individuals. You know, I mean it sounds like the guy was having a bad day and he took it out on this couple and they suffered the consequences of his bad day," Walmart Shopper Victor Baker said.

According to Horry County Schools spokeswoman Teal Britton, Duke was hired as a substitute teacher for St. James High School in October, transitioning into a full-time law enforcement/public safety teacher in December.

Duke assumed his new position just five days before the school dismissed for winter holidays, during which the incident at the Walmart occurred.

Britton explains that since the incident, Duke has been on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation into his charges and he has not been back in the classroom.

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