- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A detention deputy in West Florida was fired Tuesday for needlessly punching a physically disabled inmate, causing him to shatter his dentures.

Deputy Raymond Ferrio, 47, with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, was trying to escort a wheelchair-bound inmate to an infirmary appointment on Oct. 1, according to a release from the sheriff’s office, the St. Petersburg Tribune reported.

The release said the inmate put his feet down to prevent the deputy from pushing him. A video of the incident, released by the sheriff, shows Deputy Ferrio wrap his arm around the inmate’s neck and forcibly lift him out of the chair onto the ground, causing the chair to flip over. Police said the fall shattered the inmate’s dentures, The Tribune reported.

According to the release, Deputy Ferrio then struck the inmate several times with his fists and used his knees to restrain the inmate on the floor.

An investigation determined that the inmate did not pose a threat to the deputy or any other staff members, The Tribune reported.

Deputy Ferrio told investigators that the use of force was not justified and he “got caught up in the moment,” according to the release. Deputy Ferrio told investigators he should have handled he situation differently, The Tribune reported.

Deputy Ferrio was terminated effective Tuesday. He had been with the Sheriff’s Office since July 2000.

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