Pinellas deputy fired, accused of battering inmate

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office detention deputy was fired after investigators say he battered an inmate at the jail.

Investigators say Deputy Mathew Stanfield was conducting checks in an inmate housing unit on March 22, when he found graffiti written on the wall of a cell. The graffiti was derogatory in nature towards law enforcement.

An inmate inside the cell accepted responsibility for the graffiti. Investigators say Stanfield angrily instructed the inmate to meet him in an area of the jail that was obscured from video monitoring. The inmate followed Stanfield to a cell that was occupied by four other inmates.

Stanfield then allegedly ordered the four inmates out of the video obstructed cell and directed them to a location where their view was obstructed. Stanfield remained in the unmonitored cell with the inmate for approximately three minutes.

According to the inmate, when he entered the cell with Stanfield, the deputy threatened him with his electronic control weapon. Stanfield informed the inmate that they were going to “grapple” and charged the inmate, grabbing his leg, lifting him off the ground, knocking him backward into a concrete wall, and then to the floor.

Investigators say that the inmate suffered non-life threatening injuries to his arm and his back, and was treated by jail medical staff.

Investigators say that Stanfield failed to prepare an incident report, use of force report, or inmate disciplinary report for the inmate’s alleged writing of the graffiti. Stanfield also provided false factual statements about the incident when questioned by his supervisor and investigator.

As a result of the administrative investigation, Stanfield was terminated effective Monday, June 20, 2016.

Investigators are conducting a criminal investigation into the incident and a misdemeanor charge for battery will be referred to the State Attorney’s Office.

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