Authorities say the inmate received first and second-degree burns on his hands and didn’t receive medical care for more than six hours.
A former sheriff’s deputy in California was fired on Friday and charged on Monday for allegedly pouring scalding hot water on a mentally ill inmate earlier this year while the man was in custody, NBC News reported.
Ex-Orange County Sheriff deputy Guadalupe Ortiz, 47, was charged with felony assault or battery by a public officer and felony battery with serious bodily injury in connection with the incident, according to the county district attorney’s office.
The DA’s office said Tuesday that Ortiz has not been arrested yet. His arraignment is scheduled to take place on Jan. 11. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison.
(Prison stock photo/Credit: Pexels)
Prosecutors said Ortiz was on custodial duty at the sheriff’s office intake release center in Santa Ana, Ca. around 12:30 p.m. on April 1 when the alleged incident occurred. Another deputy was trying to get the mentally ill inmate to pull his hands inside a hatch door so the deputy could close it, but the inmate allegedly refused to cooperate.
Authorities said Ortiz responded by filling a cup with scalding hot water he retrieved from a dispenser before walking over and pouring the water on the inmate’s hands, causing first and second-degree burns.
The incident was captured on video, but authorities aren’t releasing it yet, an Orange County D.A. spokesperson told theGrio on Tuesday.
Arkansas health officials have confirmed that doctors at Washington County Jail prescribed ivermectin to inmates, despite warnings from the FDA that the anti-parasitic medicine should not be used to treat it. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
“That’s not something we’re going to be releasing right now because it’s part of the ongoing prosecution,” Public Information Officer Kimberly Edds told theGrio.
The inmate was left alone for 6.5 hours before a third deputy came along to perform a standard security check. That deputy requested medical attention for the inmate after noticing the inmate’s arm was “red and peeling,” according to the D.A.’s office.
“The law imputes a special duty of care on custodial personnel and in this case the Sheriff’s deputy completely breached that duty and crossed the line into criminal conduct,” Orange County D.A. Todd Spitzer said in a press release.
The county sheriff’s office did not immediately respond Tuesday to a request for comment from theGrio. NBC News reports the sheriff’s department said in a statement that Ortiz’s actions “were an isolated occurrence.” The department said it investigated the incident and asked the DA’s office to consider charges, according to NBC News.
The D.A.’s office declined to name the injured inmate. Authorities said Ortiz was a 19-year veteran with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to that, he served as a sheriff’s special officer for three years.
“It is my responsibility to hold Sheriff’s deputies and other jail staff accountable when they fail to properly protect those in their care,” Spitzer added. “And now a deputy is throwing away a 22-year-career for inflicting unnecessary harm on a mentally ill inmate out of frustration.”
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