A former confinement officer at the Huntington County Jail was charged Thursday with two counts of battery and two counts of criminal recklessness after surveillance video allegedly caught him assaulting a handcuffed inmate in April.
According to Indiana State Police, the incident on April 17 began when John Griffith, a prisoner at the Huntington County Jail, was handcuffed and put in a holding cell along with two other inmates for disciplinary reasons.
An ISP investigation revealed that at some point, Griffith starting kicking the cell door. When confinement officer, Walter McCann responded, one of the other inmates said Griffith refused to comply when McCann tried to lock him to the bench in the cell.
McCann said he pushed Griffith down on the bench still trying to handcuff him. He said Griffith was threatening him during this time and when Griffith got up, he sprayed him.
Griffith told police he was trying to call attention to the fact that his handcuffs were too tight and when McCann responded, Griffith said the officer got in his face and asked if he wanted to be sprayed. According to Griffith, he asked McCann if he was going to spray him just for asking to loosen his cuffs. Griffith said that was when McCann sprayed him.
Reports said McCann pepper-sprayed Griffith inches from his face.
Griffith allegedly responded by spitting at McCann and McCann then used a leg kick on Griffith that took his legs out from underneath him and caused him to hit the floor head first.
Reports stated that Griffith complained of neck pain and was offered an ice pack and ibuprofen, but refused both.
The incident was captured on surveillance video and as a result, McCann was fired by Huntington County Sheriff Terry Stoffel.
After a review from the Indiana State Police and Huntington County Prosecutor, charges were filed against McCann Thursday. McCann was placed under arrest after he turned himself in at the Huntington County Jail Friday afternoon.
CONUS TOC SOURCE