Wheelchair-bound inmate beaten, dentures shattered by deputy who was ‘caught up in the moment’
A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy in Florida was fired this week after an investigation concluded that he used excessive force on a disabled inmate.
According to a press release from the sheriff’s office on Tuesday, the incident occurred when 47-year-old Deputy Raymond Ferrio was escorting an inmate to the infirmary on Oct. 1, The St. Petersburg Tribune reported.
The inmate, who was in a wheelchair, had tried to resist being moved by putting his feet on the floor. The press release said that Ferrio put his arms around the inmate’s neck, and threw him to the floor. The impact caused the inmate’s dentures to shatter.
The statement said that Ferrio punched and kicked the inmate while he was on the floor. The inmate was then secured with restraints.
According to the sheriff’s office, the inmate never posed a threat to Ferrio or other staff members.
Ferrio later admitted that he had not been justified in using force. He explained his actions by saying that he “got caught up in the moment,” the press release said. He had been an employee of the Department of Detention and Corrections since July 2000.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office released a video of the incident on Tuesday.