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Source: Former police officer to be indicted for assaulting prisoner

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File photo of Sergeant Robert George from WBTV Archives File photo of Sergeant Robert George from WBTV Archives
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HICKORY, NC (WBTV) -

WBTV News has confirmed that a former Hickory Police officer has been indicted in connection with an alleged beating of a female that the officer had in custody.

Robert George, a police sergeant at the time, has been indicted on a charge of assault with inflicting serious injury. The indictment has not been served yet.

In the indictment paperwork, released on Wednesday, George is accused of assaulting Chelsea Nicole Doolittle.

The indictment claims the assault inflicted "serious bodily injury, the pushing of two of the victim's bottom teeth, requiring surgery by an Oral Surgeon to correct the injury." 

Sources told WBTV that the incident happened as George was attempting to take Doolittle into custody for alleged disruptive behavior and resisting. Doolittle fell to the pavement and was injured.

Doolittle claims George assaulted her. George claims he did nothing wrong.

A mug shot of Doolittle that night shows several facial injuries, though authorities could not comment on when those injuries occurred.

Hickory Police officials would not comment Tuesday on the allegation except to acknowledge that last November an "incident" did take place involving George and a female who was under arrest and in George's custody.

An internal investigation was conducted, according to a Hickory Police Department statement released on Tuesday. 

According to the release, officials determined that departmental policies had been violated and George was terminated.

In the same statement, Police Chief Tom Adkins said, "I regret that this incident occurred and I have asked the NC State Bureau of Investigation to conduct an outside independent investigation for any criminal wrongdoing of the incident."

Adkins went on to say that the department would have no further comment due to North Carolina privacy laws regarding personnel decisions.

WBTV News has learned that the results of SBI investigation are what led to the indictment this week.

George's attorney, Lisa Dubs, said Tuesday she had not seen any paperwork as of Tuesday afternoon but said if an indictment were to come down that George would turn himself in.

She also added that "Robert categorically denies using improper procedure or excessive force in this or any other case."

George did turn himself in to the Catawba County Sheriff's office on Wednesday morning and was processed, then freed on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

He is scheduled to appear in court Friday for arraignment.

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