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Oklahoma County Sheriff's office arrests former employee on assault complaint


A former Oklahoma County jail supervisor has been arrested after reportedly shooting an inmate in the face with a projectile weapon.

Joseph Leroy Hedderman, 29, of Oklahoma City, was fired Friday and taken into custody on a complaint of felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and misdemeanor assault.

The sheriff's office reported Hedderman used unreasonable force with a female inmate on Monday by shooting her in the face with a Piexon JPX Jet Protector, a less-lethal weapon that fires pepper shots with gunpowder, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Video surveillance showed the inmate continued walking toward Hedderman after being shot in the face, the sheriff's office reported. He then front-kicked her in the chest, causing her to fall to the ground, according to the affidavit.

“We will not tolerate this sort of behavior,” Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor said in a statement. “Just as soon as we realized what had occurred we started an investigation and moved quickly to fire this former employee.”

The agency's Special Investigations Unit reviewed employee incident reports and video of the incident, according to a news release. Investigators interviewed Hedderman on Friday, and he was immediately fired. He had been working at the jail for 10 years.

Investigators have been working with the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office in the process of presenting criminal charges.

Nuria Martinez-Keel

Nuria Martinez-Keel joined The Oklahoman in 2019. She found a home at the newspaper while interning in summer 2016 and 2017. Nuria returned to The Oklahoman for a third time after working a year and a half at the Sedalia Democrat in Sedalia,... Read more ›