The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office fired a deputy Tuesday because it said he struck a jail inmate last month. The former deputy was arrested later on a count of simple battery.

Timothy Hooker, 29, began working in the parish jail in March 2014 and had no other disciplinary incidents in his personnel file, said Capt. George Bonnett, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Hooker is accused of hitting the inmate in the face Nov. 27. The inmate had refused to comply with meal service procedures and was being removed from the dining area when Hooker hit him with his fist, a Sheriff’s Office news release said.

The inmate was checked by jail medical personnel, who found no significant injuries, and returned to his housing unit.

Hooker was immediately placed on administrative leave, and an internal affairs investigation began. A separate criminal investigation also was conducted by Covington police and the Sheriff’s Office. Those findings resulted in his arrest on a single count of simple battery, a misdemeanor.

He has been on administrative leave since the incident.

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