• Attorney: Sheriff’s Deputies Forced Inmates To Fight ‘Gladiator-Style’

    Sheriff’s deputies at a San Francisco jail are in hot water for allegations that they orchestrated and bet on brutal fights between inmates.

    Sheriff’s deputies at San Francisco’s Hall of Justice forced jail inmates to fight each other “gladiator-style” and bet on the outcomes, a public defender claimed Thursday, SFGate reported.

    Jail inmates allege they were forced to train and then fight one another or the deputies would hurt them or withhold food. Another inmate said he was threatened with rape. San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said he was alerted to the fights March 12 by the father of one of the inmates.

    Ricardo Palikiko Garcia, one of the inmates who said he was forced to fight, claims that the deputies threatened to mace and cuff him if he didn’t fight another inmate. Garcia, at 5 feet 9 and 150 pounds, alleges he was forced to fight an inmate that was 6 feet and 350 pounds.

    “I don’t know why he does it, but I just feel like he gets a kick out of it because I just see the look on his face,” Garcia told SFGate. “It looks like it brings him joy by doing this, while we’re suffering by what he’s doing.”

    Harry Stern, attorney for the San Francisco Deputy Association told SFGate that the claims were exaggerated and that it was just a little horseplay. He said the initial “cursory investigation” should be challenged and that there should be a more thorough investigation.

    The four deputies, Scott Neu, Eugene Jones, Clifford Chiba and Evan Staehely, have been placed on administrative leave. In 2006, Neu was accused of forcing inmates to perform sexual acts on him.

    A lengthier investigation is underway.

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