Pa. prison guard accused of pepper-spraying inmate's genitals

  Lackawanna County prison in Scranton Pa.

WYOU

SCRANTON, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania county prison guard has been placed on paid leave and charged with simple assault for allegedly pepper-spraying an inmate’s genitals.

The Scranton Times-Tribune says the incident involving Lackawanna County prison Sgt. Scott Blume occurred Sept. 24, but didn’t come to light until the inmate wrote to a judge to complain Oct. 18.

District Attorney Shane Scanlon says in a criminal complaint that the incident happened after the inmate became intoxicated from homemade alcohol made from leftover fruit. That’s when Blume allegedly told the inmate to change clothes so he could be placed in restrictive housing, but the inmate refused. Prosecutors say Blume sprayed the inmate through a jail door opening while the inmate was naked.

Blume is accused of grabbing the inmate by the throat, reports CBS affiliate WYOU.

Scanlon says he filed the charges because force wasn’t necessary.

Blume’s attorney declined comment Tuesday. Blume faces a disciplinary hearing and could be fired.

Prosecutors say a majority of the incident was caught on video, reports WYOU. Court records  indicate Blume is a training officer who instructs others in the use of force, the station reports.