| Arpaio |

Joe Arpaio's Jail Beat-Downs: Detention Officer Resigns Amid Assault Charges

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.