The Orange County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation after a deputy was suspected of assaulting an inmate by throwing hot water on him in the Orange County Jail.
On April 1, a deputy who was working in the mental health housing module at the jail’s Intake Release Center was handing an inmate a disciplinary notice for a jail rule violation, when the inmate stuck his arms out through the cell door hatch, according to a department news release.
The inmate refused to sign the notice and would not bring his arms back in, preventing the deputy from closing the hatch, officials said.
The deputy asked two other deputies for assistance in getting the inmate to comply with their orders.
The inmate refused and a deputy is accused of throwing hot water onto the inmate’s arm, according to the release.
The deputies involved were placed on administrative leave the following day and the case was submitted to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said he is intolerant of this kind of behavior and that “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.”
“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,” Barnes said in a news release.
An internal affairs investigation is ongoing to determine whether policy violations were committed, the department said.