The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office infuses our core values of Integrity, Professionalism and Trust in every aspect of our service to our community. We place great value in the community’s trust of our deputies and the service they provide to our community.
On Thursday, it was brought to our attention that two members of our detention staff violated this trust during their interaction with an inmate at the jail. Immediately following the receipt of this complaint a criminal investigation was conducted, during which it was determined that a charge of Battery was appropriate for both of the detention deputies involved.
The investigation into this violation was handled swiftly and should not be a reflection on the other dedicated and professional men and women within my agency.
– Sheriff Bill Prummell
On March 7, at approximately 8:45am, a male inmate at the Charlotte County Jail made contact with an incoming pod detention deputy, advising a detention deputy battered him earlier that morning.
The inmate displayed a small injury to the bottom right side of his mouth that appeared to be a puncture wound as a result of one of his teeth being forced through his skin. The inmate stated that a detention deputy punched him in the face and that the incident occurred between 3:00am and 4:00am.
Charlotte County Jail medical staff immediately treated the inmate, confirming that there was a large laceration to the inside of his bottom lip. The inmate also had a small laceration to the inside of his upper lip, and swelling to his mouth.
The inmate provided a physical description of the detention deputy that struck him and advised he works in the Intake area. He added that a Pod Officer was also with him at the time of the incident.
Detectives with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Major Case Unit responded to investigate the incident. Through a review of video surveillance, the detention deputies involved were identified as CDFC Russell Rodgers and CDFC Christopher McClain. Detectives determined that no incident report for a disturbance was completed during the evening’s shift. Both employees were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The inmate stated that CDFC Rodgers woke him up at approximately 3:45am to take him down to the intake area to complete paperwork for a public defender. During the escort, CDFC McClain joined them. The inmate advised he engaged in a verbal altercation with the detention deputies, causing them to cancel the escort with the intention of returning him back to his pod.
The inmate stated that prior to reaching his assigned pod, the detention deputies turned him down a different hallway and told him to stand against a wall. The inmate stated that as he turned toward the wall CDFC McClain punched him in the face two times, causing the injuries to his mouth. The inmate stated that CDFC McClain made several statements and positioned his body in a manner that was encouraging the inmate to fight back. The inmate declined to engage, and was escorted by CDFC Rodgers back to his pod.
When the inmate woke up for breakfast, he observed his mouth was still bleeding and notified the day shift detention deputy of his injury.
Video surveillance confirmed the sequence of events provided by the inmate, although the hallway where the battery took place did not have a camera.
Both detention deputies provided statements this afternoon. After providing their statements, they were arrested and transported to the Charlotte County Jail. CDFC McClain is charged with Battery and CDFC Rodgers is charged with Battery (Principal).
CDFC McClain was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in August of 2012. CDFC Rodgers was hired in April of 2012. Both employees are currently on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.