Pennsylvania officials have suspended three corrections officers accused of orchestrating inmate brawls for their own amusement. David Michael Whitcomb, 28, Mark Andrew Haynes, 26, and Daniel H. Graff, 37 have been suspended without pay pending an investigation.
Allegations were made against the officers during an investigation into graffiti at the prison, according to a press release.
“Earlier this year, while conducting an unrelated investigation into pen/marker graffiti and other minor vandalism inside an area of the facility, prison administration learned of possible unprofessional conduct by three corrections officers. Management immediately began an internal investigation,” the release read. “Based on evidence obtained during the internal investigation, the three officers were placed on unpaid administrative leave and the matter was turned over to the Pennsylvania State Police for further investigation and possible criminal charges. The York County Prison and its staff actively cooperated with the State Police investigation.”
The correctional officers are accused of having inmates fight each other for snacks after an inmate revealed that he took part in something called the “Retard Olympics” and was forced to do “stupid stuff for food and coffee.”
The officers have denied the allegations.
“I did not participate in any of it, and I did not witness any of this,” Whitcomb said. “There is no physical evidence, no medical records. They didn’t file any complaints when it was supposed to have happened. This is all on the word of an inmate. It blows my mind.”
This is not the only recent incident of guards being accused of forcing inmates to brawl. In July inmates accused two guards at a St. Louis prison of forcing them to take part in Gladiator style fights for prison guard’s amusement.
“Individuals who were put in solitary confinement were not supposed to have contact with any other inmate but what was happening was the guards were actually taking inmates out of the cells, placing them in cells with other inmates, and forcing them to fight each other,” said attorney Daniel Brown, who is representing the St. Louis inmates.