BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) –  The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections officials began the termination process of an employee Monday after he punched an inmate while on duty.

23-year-old Eric Lands of Baton Rouge was booked Monday with simple battery after video from surveillance cameras at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel shows Lands repeatedly hitting an inmate while on duty Sunday at the prison.

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections notified St. Gabriel Police detectives who began an internal investigation and captured the altercation on camera.

Police say the altercation occurred while Lands was escorting the inmate back to his cell. Eyewitnesses say it began when the inmate spit in Lands’ face.

Lands has been a corrections cadet since July 25, 2016 and records obtained showed he met or exceeded all department requirements to be hired as a corrections cadet, including a criminal background check.

Civil service rules allow for immediate separation because Lands is a probationary employee.