Sept. 6 (UPI) — Four California sheriff’s deputies were arrested last week on felony assault charges for allegedly abusing prisoners by throwing feces and urine on them.
Alameda County deputies Justin Linn, 23, and Erik McDermott, 27, have been charged with felony assault under the color of authority, witness intimidation, and conspiracy to obstruct justice, reported the East Bay Times.
Deputy Sarah Krause and former deputy Stephen Sarcos, who resigned during the investigation, have been charged with felony assault under the color of authority.
According to prosecutors, the deputies told prisoners to throw bodily fluids on others, a practice known as “gassing.”
The deputies allegedly facilitated these attacks by telling prisoners to perform the assault and opening cell doors so the targets could be exposed to the attack, reported the Guardian.
Linn and McDermott are facing extra charges for allegedly intimidating prisoners to stay quiet about the abuse. McDermott is also suspected of strangling a prisoner until he lost consciousness.
“These four deputies directed, facilitated, enabled and committed sadistic and terrorizing acts against several men whose protection fell directly within the responsibility of their positions as correctional officers,” said Alameda County district attorney Nancy O’Malley. “The conduct of these four defendants violates the law and there is no rational explanation for their actions aside from abject cruelty and a disregard for the humanity of the inmates.”
The arrests come after a nearly nine-month investigation, which began when jail employees complained to officials about the alleged abuse in January, reported the Los Angeles Times.
The deputies posted bail shortly after the arrests.