Pinellas jail deputy fired for using 'excessive force' on inmate - FOX 13 News

Pinellas jail deputy fired for using 'excessive force' on inmate

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LARGO (FOX 13) -

David Koons' stay at the Pinellas County Jail this past may was a scene from start to finish.

"He was running his mouth. He was belligerent. He was using profanity. He uttered some racial slurs to some of the staff in the booking area," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Monday.

But what happened during the May 8th booking shocked even the Sheriff. Pinellas detention deputy Richard Stotts stopped what he was doing at the booking desk and smacked the handcuffed man square in the head.

Stotts was fired on Monday after an internal review. It's the latest case in a string of incidents involving Pinellas County detention deputies using excessive force.

Desmond Quinn was fired last October after he was seen on surveillance video grabbing an inmate by the neck and throwing him to the ground.

Just last week, a St. Petersburg police officer was suspended for dragging a handcuffed woman from the jail parking lot and through a doorway.

Still, the sheriff says these issues are isolated.

"We have about 750 deputies that work in the Pinellas County Jail. The absolute majority of them are professionals that come do their job every day correctly," Gualtieri said.

Gualtieri says supervisors are watching interactions within the jail now more than ever, to make sure even the most taxing inmates are treated with care.

"He was obnoxious, he was running his mouth, but under no circumstances does that ever justify a deputy sheriff to go smack him in the head the way that he did. I'm not going to tolerate it," Gualtieri said.

Despite taking quite a blow, Koons wasn't seriously injured in the incident. Stotts is not facing criminal charges at this point in time, but he is out of a job.

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