North Carolina Man Sentenced to 10 years in Prison for Assaulting SSA Security Guard

Monday, October 29, 2012
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A Gastonia man was sentenced to more than a decade in prison Monday for assaulting a security guard last year at the local U.S. Social Security Administration office.

Charlie Wayne Bryant, 47, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn Jr. to serve 10 years and eight months in prison. The incident occurred in February 2011 and Bryant pleaded guilty the following December to one count of assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer or employee of the United States.

The sentence was handed down in Charlotte.

Bryant was at the Gastonia branch of the Social Security Administration, at 609 Cotton Blossom Circle, on Feb. 8, 2011, according to filed court documents. Witnesses testified at Monday’s sentencing hearing that he became disruptive that day and punched a security officer in the mouth. A struggle ensued, and Bryant continued to resist until Gastonia police officers arrived, according to court records.

The security officer sustained a bodily injury as a result of the assault and was treated at Gaston Memorial Hospital. In issuing the sentence Monday, Judge Cogburn stated  that Bryant’s actions represented “a serious offense.”

A federal grand jury in Charlotte indicted Bryant with the charge in March 2011, prior to him pleading guilty.

Bryant has been in local federal custody in the Western District of North Carolina since his arrest in April 2011. Upon designation of a federal facility, he will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The investigation was handled by the Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Federal Protective Service with the assistance of the SSA-OIG. The prosecution for the government was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lynn Dillon of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.