Joe Arpaio's Jail Beat-Downs: Detention Officer Resigns Amid Assault Charges
A detention officer in one of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails has resigned after being charged with assault for beating up two jail inmates.
Officer Kevin Gerster, the Sheriff's Office confirms to New Times, has resigned after being charged with assault earlier this week.
Gerster, as you may recall, starred in a jail surveillance video of him beating up on two inmates, which the sheriff was kind enough to show the media (New Times included!) on Monday. As we pointed out earlier this week, possible federal indictments have done wonders for Arpaio in the transparency department.
In one instance, Gerster is seen in the video jumping on a table and stepping on the neck of a fully restrained inmate as the inmate's head was placed (then slammed) on the table. Then he punched him in the head four times.
In a second instance, inmate Michael Flores is seen chained to a bed in a cell after it was claimed he was aggressive with deputies and banged his head against a wall. As dictated by jail policy, Gerster was monitoring the bound inmate from behind a desk just outside of the open cell.
"He was probably mouthing off," Chief Jerry Sheridan, chief of custody for the county's jails, said at the press conference.
Out of nowhere, Gerster jumps from his chair, tosses the desk aside, goes into the cell, and punches Flores in the face.
Three days after he was released, Flores went to a hospital and was found to have a broken jaw (he's now suing the county). He told hospital staff about his time as a guest of the county, and they called the Sheriff's Office, which opened an investigation into the alleged assault (it should be noted it's unclear how the inmate's jaw was broken -- he was banging his own head against a wall and was free for three days before going to the hospital. But he was punched in the face by a detention officer).
Gerster's been charged with aggravated assault.
Get more details on the alleged assaults here.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.