Former HCSO officer disputes facts in report into drowning deaths of two mental health patients

Former HCSO officer disputes facts in report into drowning deaths of two mental health patients

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) -WMBF obtained employee evaluation forms and disciplinary reports for the two former Horry County corrections officers who were fired after driving around flood barriers; an action that cost two mental health patients their lives.

Discipline reports for the Sept. 18 incident stated Stephen Flood made a “conscious decision” when he drove the transport van into flood waters.

The reports state the other officer riding in the van, Joshua Bishop, “failed to make a conscious and conspicuous effort” to stop Flood from driving into the waters.

Additionally, the reports state the officers “failed to take appropriate action” and violated the detention center’s rules of conduct.

Under the employee’s response section of the report, Flood hand wrote, “the facts in this report are not true” and signed it SWF.

WMBF spoke with Flood about this response on Thursday. He said he wants people to know what he says is the truth.

Flood calls what happened that night an “accident” rather than an incident.

The officer said he, Bishop and the victims’ families are going through enough right now and he doesn’t want people to make things up.

While Flood wants to shed light on what happened that night, he said his lawyers want him to wait until the State Law Enforcement Division’s investigation is released.

WMBF reached out to his lawyers who said they had no comment to give at this time.

Evaluation reports on both officers’ performance at Horry County reveal they consistently met expectations.

Bishop received average scores on his evaluation for productivity, quality of work, motivation and communication. The documents note “he does what is expected of him without being prompted or pushed.”

Further reviews state, “Officer Bishop shows professional concern for the quality of his work,” and “he shows good initiative.”

In another evaluation, Bishop is called “respectful and polite.” The evaluation goes on to note his “good understanding of the policies, procedures and post orders. He follows safety guidelines and maintains a safe work environment.”

Flood often received above average reviews.

He received an “exceeds expectations” in dependability and initiative and motivation. Flood was also noted for doing tasks without being asked.

The forms depict Flood as “honest” and “always does more than is expected of him” while having a “positive” attitude.

One evaluation stated, “Flood displays high management potential” and later he “excels in making appropriate judgement and can be trusted to use good judgement.”

He is noted for doing a “good job following policies and rarely violates those policies.”

At this time, no charges have been filed against either officer.

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