Lawsuit deposition: Jail sergeant overheard saying he would ‘beat’ inmate


A former Montgomery County Jail sergeant said in recent deposition testimony that another sergeant announced he would “beat” an inmate before an altercation that left the inmate, a homeless veteran, in a coma. 

Former Sgt. Eric Banks –- who took a medical retirement this month -- relayed his recollection of events of Jan. 16, 2015, in a deposition this month. 

RELATED: County blames health care provider for jail inmate’s injuries

Banks was called to testify in the federal lawsuit filed by Joseph Guglielmo, the veteran whose suit says the incident left him permanently disabled. 

The suit says former Sgt. Matthew Snyder “beat Guglielmo repeatedly and threw him against the concrete wall” and “delivered several closed-fist strikes” to Guglielmo’s head, eye area and abdomen. 

Snyder and other corrections officers named in the suit deny any excessive use of force. An internal review of the incident determined that Snyder did not violate agency policy. 

But Banks testified that Snyder, before going to Guglielmo’s cell, “said something to the effect of, after roll call, we're going to go down there and beat the old man's (expletive).”

Banks testified that other deputies told Snyder that Guglielmo would settle down, urging him not to go in the cell, but Snyder and three corrections officers did go in.

Banks testified they didn't take a hand-held video camera with them, violating jail policy.

Banks also said that other deputies told him Snyder used a homosexual slur at least twice toward the inmate, and "Guglielmo had got upset and stood up off the bench and that's when Snyder shoved him back and that's when he hit his head and he (Snyder) got on top of him."

Sheriff Phil Plummer declined to speak on camera because this is all part of pending litigation.

But in a January interview, Plummer denied the use of excessive force.

Plummer said Guglielmo "was banging his head on the glass door, that's why we entered the cell, to get him under control.” 

Plummer said Guglielmo went after Snyder, who used four blows to defend himself and control the prisoner.

"We do run the jail. We're not there to get beat on by inmates. We will defend ourselves. We have to,” he said. 

 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Incorporate some hygge into your home this winter
Incorporate some hygge into your home this winter

By now you have probably heard of hygge, the Danish term for cozy, contentment. While it can be incorporated into the home and year-round, the winter months are certainly the perfect time. Looking for ways to incorporate a sense of hygge this season? Begin by evaluating your whole home and then look for ways to uplift each space. Infuse scents. In...
11 modern home decorating ideas that’ll transform any traditional space
11 modern home decorating ideas that’ll transform any traditional space

Two rules interior designers consistently remind us about decorating are to keep in mind your home’s original architecture and to try to stay true to your home’s roots. This doesn’t mean going full-blown Victorian with your furniture in a historic terrace home but rather to respect the original bones of the space, look for materials...
How to save succulents from rot in winter
How to save succulents from rot in winter

Are your succulents turning black? Are they gushy and soft when you touch them? The small accent color plants from warm dry climates slow down with the shortening of days into winter. They stop growing and therefore need no moisture besides what their bodies already hold. Yet water is continually applied, be it by rain or automatic sprinklers or a...
When you really don’t know a friend’s whole story

And here, I thought I knew the whole story. Which makes me laugh now. You, too, probably. I imagine from time to time, you fall into the same trap. Casually following someone on Facebook. They look like they have everything. Especially, the thing you think you’re missing in your life. In this case, incredible career success. This woman, Meg,...
Outcome pleases grandmother

The Ombudsman Office recently received a call from a grandmother who is caring for her disabled grandson. The grandmother attempted to complete a telephone interview for food assistance benefits for her grandson. The staff at the Montgomery County Job and Family Services (MCDJFS) informed her they could only speak with the authorized representative...
More Stories