LEXINGTON, S.C. –State Law Enforcement Division agents arrested a former Lexington County deputy Thursday in connection to an on-duty assault charge.

Matthew Fields, 37, is charged with third-degree assault and battery, according to an arrest warrant. The charge stems from a July 2 arrest in which Fields was involved. Fields struck a suspect in the face with a closed fist, according to the warrant.

“As soon as I became aware of Mr. Fields’ actions, I started the process to terminate him and I asked SLED to conduct an investigation,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “In this case, the system worked. The processes we have in place to hold deputies accountable when it comes to their encounters with the public brought his behavior to the forefront and we took immediate action.

“Having checks and balances in place is very important in the law enforcement profession,” Koon said. “They help maintain accountability and ensure public trust. We can’t accept any conduct that breaks that trust.”

Fields was terminated July 13, according to Koon. He was a K-9 handler and classified as a senior deputy at the time of his dismissal.

Fields, a Prosperity resident, turned himself in Thursday morning and was booked into the Lexington County Detention Center.