Three corrections officers at a Pennsylvania prison, who are accused of making inmates fight for snacks, have been charged with official oppression.
Inmates David Michael Wright and James Williams Hicks claim that officers David Michael Whitcomb, Mark Andrew Haynes, and Daniel H. Graff held “Retard Olympics” between January and July of this year. The inmates would allegedly fight each other or the guards in exchange for food and coffee. The York Daily Record reports on other “challenges” the officers conducted:
Wright wrote that Whitcomb offered him food if he would allow the officer to punch him in the leg... He also reported that Haynes offered him food if he could take a punch in the arm without falling.
Wright reported he allowed the officer to punch him but did not receive any food. He also said Graff offered him extra coffee if he allowed him to spray pepper foam in his face. He did, he reported, and later did not receive any coffee.
Hicks reported that among the stunts he was asked to perform for food and coffee were drinking a gallon of milk in an hour, eating a spoonful of cinnamon, snorting spicy vegetable Ramen Noodle powder and crushed candy, drinking a bottle of water with pepper foam sprayed in it and eating fruit with the peels intact.
He reported that he received food and coffee after performing the stunts.
The officers deny that any of this took place. Graff claimed that the inmates are conducting a "a get-rich-quick scheme” by taking the officers to court.
"There is no physical evidence” of the inmates' allegations, asserted Whitcomb.
Nevertheless, Pennsylvania State Police, who were investigating an unrelated issue, uncovered a surveillance video of Haynes grabbing Wright.
According to a public information release report by the state police, Hicks asserted that the fights happened and that “it was all consensual.”
County officials believe the investigation is being handled properly, and released a statement assuring that “misconduct within any county agency is not tolerated."