PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A sergeant with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice was arrested Saturday after investigators say he choked and punched a 16-year-old detained at a juvenile detention center in Escambia County, Florida.
Sgt. Gregory Bivens, 28, is charged with cruelty toward a child and battery.
An Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrest report says Bivens had intervened Thursday after the alleged victim attacked another juvenile at the Escambia Regional Juvenile Detention Center. The incident was caught on surveillance cameras.
“(Bivens) then came toward (the victim) and struck him in the face. He grabbed (the victim) by the throat and slammed him to the ground,” the report alleges. “(The victim) covered his face while on the ground, but the sergeant still punched him three or four more times in the face and mouth. The sergeant grabbed (the victim) by the throat again, walking him past cell doors and purposely hitting (the victim’s) head against the doors stating ‘this one isn’t yours’ each time (his) head hit a door. When they got to his cell, the sergeant threw (the victim) in. Then, again, (Bivens) grabbed him by the throat and pinned against the wall.”
The report says the 16-year-old boy could not breathe during the incident and his vision kept becoming blurry due to losing air. A witness told investigators he heard Bivens tell the boy, “you better say please to me before you can breathe.”
“(The victim) was begging the sergeant to stop while doing this,” the report says. “The sergeant threw (the victim) on the ground again and grabbed him by his hair while was in the fetal position. The sergeant then kicked (him) at least once before leaving him alone.”
The teen was left with a busted lip, a bruise on his right arm from being kicked, scratches on his neck from being choked, and was coughing and spitting up blood, according to the report.
“He also had to readjust his nose which was leaking blood,” the report says.
Investigators say other staff did not intervene. A nurse checked on the boy and supplied him antibiotic cream for his scratches and pain medicine for his head pain.
Bivens was booked into the Escambia County jail Saturday afternoon and released less than three hours later on a $50,000 bond.
Bivens’ arrest report says he has been accused of assault in the past. His mugshot is exempt from being released because he is a law enforcement officer.
WKRG News 5 reached out to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice for comment. The department confirmed Bivens was fired.
Its website says the Escambia Regional Juvenile Detention Center is a 50 bed, hardware secure facility that serves youth detained by various circuit court(s).
“Youth are detained pending adjudication, disposition or placement in commitment facility,” the site says. “The facility provides supervision of youth in a safe, secure and humane environment.