Sheriff Chris Nocco says what happened inside the walls at the Land O'Lakes detention center led him to fire and bring criminal charges against one of his own.
"We looked at the video and it was clear as to the actions that he took which were totally inappropriate and criminal in our minds," he told media Friday.
According to an arrest affidavit, a 16-year-old inmate began hitting his head against a jail cell. For safety, 45-year-old Deputy Norman Grant put him in a restraining chair. The report stated the teen complained the restraints were too tight and tried loosening them. That's when, the sheriff said, things took a wrong turn.
"Mr. Grant put his hands around his neck and started chocking him and stated, 'I will break your neck,'" Sheriff Nocco said.
The teen told another sheriff's office employee, which led to the investigation.
"We have it on video and we have clear marks on the juvenile. Maybe it shows along the way this deputy obviously should have never worn a badge," Nocco continued.
Just 15 months ago, Grant received the service medal of courage from the sheriff for subduing a violent inmate at the same jail. Now, the sheriff describes actions more cowardly.
"When somebody is being restrained, that's not being a tough individual, fighting somebody who can't fight back," he said.
This is not the first time Deputy Grant has been under the microscope. Previously, three other complaints were filed by two inmates. But Grant was cleared.
For Sheriff Nocco this was the last straw. Grant now faces a charge of child abuse.
"Because of his actions, he's going to be fired today, and the assistant state attorney is going to be prosecuting him," Nocco said.
Grant was employed at the Land O'Lakes jail for seven years.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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