Another day, another payout by taxpayers for a screw-up in the Maricopa County Jail.
The county has paid millions to victims of jail staff over the years, but the problem seems never-ending.
In this case, a career burglar who ordinarily wouldn't deserve a dime from taxpayers is receiving a $10,000 settlement after he accused jail detention officers of failing to help while he was being beat up by another inmate.
The rap sheet of Gabriel Canales Corral, if printed out, would serve as a paperweight. He's got multiple felony convictions going back to the year 2000, mostly for burglary and theft. In 2012, he was in jail awaiting trial on yet another burglary charge. His "cellie," unfortunately for him, was a much bigger guy who had a low tolerance for bathroom noises. On October 27 of 2012, the larger inmate became seriously annoyed by Corral and attacked him, according to Corral.
Corral reported the assault on an intercom to a guard who laughed at him, he says. The larger inmate then told another guard who showed up that the jail staff had five seconds to take Corral out of the cell. He then counted down from five and started pummeling Corral. The second guard, meanwhile, simply walked down a flight of stairs, ignoring the cell fight.
Corral claims he was beaten "bloody." A jail report indicates that Corral was left with a chipped tooth, bloody nose, scratches and bruises. The report also indicates that Corral didn't start the fight. The burglar sued, and now complains that he has headaches and other lingering ailments from his beating.
The guards denied ignoring anything, saying they responded to the altercation when they heard about it.
The county risk manger, Pauline Hecker, made the decision to pay Corral, says county spokeswoman Cari Gerchick. The county has no comment on the $10,000 settlement, she adds. We left a message with Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office, but haven't heard back.
Jail guards have been in trouble before for ignoring the cries of inmates. In 2012, the county agreed to pay $3.25 million to a diabetic woman whose complaints went unheeded until she slipped into a fatal coma.
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