Second Paralyzed Inmate Claims Florida Deputies Tipped Him Out of Wheelchair
TAMPA, Fla. – Another paralyzed inmate claims deputies tipped him out of his wheelchair onto a Tampa jailhouse floor, just weeks after video of a similar dumping at the same facility prompted a firestorm of criticism.
Attorney John Trevena said the incident involving his client, Benjamin Rayburn, 32, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence, also was captured on videotape.
"There is widespread abuse of inmates," Trevena said. "It's not limited to Hillsborough County Jail. It's just that the Hillsborough County Jail maintains very detailed video archives inside the jail."
The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office didn't respond to telephone messages left by The Associated Press on Wednesday night.
The allegations come just weeks after another deputy was charged with one count of felony abuse of a disabled person after video showed her dumping a paralyzed man on the floor. Trevena also represents that inmate, Brian Sterner.
The latest incident happened Oct. 3, 2006, after Rayburn had a glass crack pipe inside the jail, and swung the pipe at a deputy, according to a sheriff's report obtained by the St. Petersburg Times.
Rayburn then threw the pipe, which shattered, striking another deputy in the back of the head. Deputies then "relocated Rayburn from his wheelchair to the holding cell floor," according to the report.
After the incident, investigators charged Rayburn with aggravated assault, battery on a law enforcement officer and introducing contraband into a county detention center, the report said.
Rayburn is paralyzed from the chest down, Trevena said.