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Orange County Sheriff: 3 Deputies Injured Non-Compliant Jail Inmate By Throwing Hot Water On Him

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Three Orange County sheriff's deputies face criminal charges for allegedly throwing hot water on an inmate who refused to comply during a security check.

Three deputies from Orange County's Intake Release Center have been placed on administrative leave in connection with the April 1 incident, according to the sheriff's officials. After an internal criminal investigation, a case was submitted to the Orange County District Attorney's Office Wednesday for filing consideration.

"I am absolutely intolerant of this behavior," Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement. "Deputies working in the Orange County Jail are responsible for providing care and safety for the inmates in our custody, not causing harm or injury."

Orange County Central Men's Jail
SANTA ANA, CA - December 15: An Orange County Sheriffs deputy walks into the Intake and Release center at the the Orange County Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled to halve the population of the county's jails to allow for more social distancing of inmates. The outbreak in the jails, which started last week, has escalated to 416 inmates, 37 of whom are newly booked prisoners, said Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

According to sheriff's officials, the unidentified deputy was serving the inmate with a disciplinary notice for a jail rule violation at the Intake Release Center's mental health-housing module on April 1. The inmate refused to sign the notice through the cell door hatch, but instead extended his arms through it and refused to bring his arms back in, officials said.

The investigation found that the deputy went to get help from two more deputies, then returned to ask the inmate again to bring his hands back into the cell. When the inmate refused, the deputy allegedly threw hot water on the inmate's arm.

At a later security check, the inmate asked another deputy for medical help for his visible injuries.

Orange County sheriff's officials say the internal affairs investigation is continuing to determine whether policy violations were committed, a separate process from the criminal investigation.

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