Deputy's post calling teens "animals" under scrutiny

COLUMBIA, South Carolina -- A South Carolina deputy is facing criticism after he called a group of teens "animals" in a post.

WACH-TV reported that dozens of teens gathered at a mall in Columbia after social media posts said a fight was going happen.

Deputy Phil Tessier posted, "Ok they are not children. Going to the Village at Sandhill's to watch fights, that is gang and thug mentality. Animals."

Capt. Maria Yturria of the Richland County Sheriff's Department said, "We do believe that the comments were inappropriate and thoughtless and they shouldn't have been made, and appropriate action has been taken. One post or one comment can reflect on the rest of us and we don't want people to be discouraged to think that, you know, we're not here to help everybody. We absolutely are. We hold all of our employees to the utmost, highest standards, and we want to make sure that the community knows that."