Sheriff Candidate Bails Out Inmate Who Claims Jail Guards Beat Him; MCSO Calls B.S.
An inmate was recently bailed out of the Fourth Avenue Jail by Democratic Maricopa County Sheriff candidate John Rowan, after the inmate told his family he'd been beaten by jail staff.
That inmate is now facing another criminal charge, as the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says it has evidence that Kolton Clark fabricated the whole story.
The Arizona Republic wrote last week about Rowan bailing Clark out of jail -- where he was being held on assault charges -- noting that the "video that capture[d] Clark's entire time in custody" didn't show detention officers beating up Clark.
MCSO says detectives started investigating the incident (or non-incident) after Clark informed his family that he'd been beaten, tased, and maced by detention officers inside his isolation cell.
Clark confirmed to detectives that he'd been beat up by jail staff, but said he wouldn't get into details without his attorney, according to the Sheriff's Office. Detectives reminded him that he was being questioned as a victim, not a suspect, but MCSO says Clark still refused to answer any questions.
There was no indication of an assault on video, so MCSO says it went to recorded phone conversations between Clark and his mother.
"Clark can be heard in recorded telephone conversations between him and his mother planning to use the assault story to 'prove a point' and to 'pull the racial card' against Joe Arpaio in order to obtain a large monetary settlement," MCSO says in a statement. "At one point, Clark's mother stated during the conversation that she had spoken to 'high profile attorneys' who explained such a settlement may be worth as much as $4 million dollars."
The Sheriff's Office also alleges Clark's mother told him to "hold his head down once released from the jail if television cameras were present to show that he was a victim of the brutality that allegedly occurs in Sheriff Arpaio's jails."
MCSO adds that the conversations between the two "indicate that [Clark] received injuries from a physical dispute that he was involved in leading to his (initial) arrest and also that he was pepper sprayed by a security guard in his apartment complex."
MCSO says Clark was arrested for false reporting to law enforcement, and we should have the audio tapes in question shortly.
Rowan, who was fired from his former job with the Goodyear Police Department, paid $200 to get Clark out of jail.
Below is one of the responses from Rowan and his campaign posted on his Facebook page:
"In view of all the allegations and litigation pending against MCSO, I would rather err on the side of who did too much than one who did too little." - John's statement
For the small sum of $125 bail which will be refunded upon disposition of this case, he was able to help a family whose 18 year-old son needed medical attention and whose parents were concerned for his well-being. Given the history of MCSO detention in the past few years, their fears were grounded. John Rowan posted bail to help a family in need and that saved taxpayers $100 per day as well.
1. Multiple attempts to get information from MCSO went unanswered prior to bailing Kolton out.
2. Kolton was charged with misdemeanors.
3. Bail was made on Thursday evening, but MCSO held Kolton until Saturday early morning.
3. According to local reporters, MCSO only released 12 hours of video and some phone calls. Kolton was in jail for 4 days.
4. MCSO has also released a "mugshot", however that mugshot was not available during the 48 hour window on the MCSO website, it was a blank screen above his name which is not the norm.
5. According to information now released by MCSO, Kolton was beaten by 2 others at the scene. If that is the case, why was no one else arrested.
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