SANTA ANA, Calif. - The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has submitted a case to the DA’s office after a deputy is accused of assaulting an inmate earlier this month after they allegedly threw hot water on him, it was announced Wednesday.
The alleged incident happened on Thursday, April 1, the department said.
Sheriff’s officials said that day, a deputy working in the mental health unit served an inmate "with a disciplinary notice for a jail rule violation." The inmate apparently refused to sign the notice through the cell door hatch and instead "extended his arms through the door," and refused to bring his arms back inside the cell which prevented the deputy from securing the hatch.
The deputy left the area and returned with two other deputies for assistance.
Their attempts to get the inmate to bring his hands back inside the cell were unsuccessful, the department said. When the inmate refused to comply, one of the deputies allegedly threw hot water onto the inmate.
The inmate later informed another deputy of the alleged incident during a security check. The department said he had visible injuries that required treatment.
"I am absolutely intolerant of this behavior," said Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes in a statement. "Deputies working in the Orange County Jail are responsible for providing care and safety for the inmates in our custody, not causing harm or injury. Unfortunately, the actions of one can reflect on the many, but I want to make it clear that this is not indicative of the conduct of deputies inside the Orange County Jail. I have reiterated to our personnel that anything that even resembles this type of inexcusable behavior will not be allowed, and that anyone who goes beyond their training and Department policy will be held fully accountable. We have completed a criminal investigation and submitted it to the District Attorney’s Office for a prosecutorial decision. It is my expectation that the District Attorney will review this case in a timely manner to determine if charges are warranted."
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The names of the three deputies involved with the incident are not being released.
The investigation is ongoing.