BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Three Baltimore Central Booking and Intake corrections officers are accused of assault and misconduct charges this week, with one accused of choking an inmate who refused their orders until she went unconscious.
A Baltimore City grand jury indicted Correctional Officer II Zanel Santana, Correctional Officer Sergeant Monyette Washington and Correctional Officer II Uchenna Okeke.READ MORE: Martinez Comes Off COVID List, Hits 3 HRs As Red Sox Top O's
All three work for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. According to the indictment, on June 14, 2019, all three were on duty and working at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center when video surveillance caught Washington, at around 4:16 p.m., respond to the 3 North Building Location when she was told a detainee was refusing to go back to their housing unit.
The indictment claims Washington saw the detainee was inside of a vestibule on the floor and was refusing to go back to the unit. The detainee was allegedly asked several times by Washington to go back, however allegedly, the detainee refused.
Okeke and Santana responded to help Washington. Video surveillance and the indictment claim Santana walked behind the detainee while they were sitting on the floor and started pushing his knee several times into the detainee’s back. Santana then unsuccessfully tried to lift the detainee up by allegedly grabbing the back of her yellow prison uniform.
A few seconds later, Santana then allegedly grabbed the detainee’s neck and allegedly put her in an unauthorized choke hold. Santana then stood up, making the detainee to stand up as well while still allegedly in a choke hold.
The video shows the detainee grabbing her neck and being unable to breathe.READ MORE: 22-Year-Old Man Dies After Being Shot In Head, Chest In NE Baltimore
Santana allegedly started to move the detainee out of the vestibule while Okeke grabbed the detainee’s right arm and started to escort the detainee towards her housing unit. At the same time, Washington can be seen observing the entire incident and following behind the detainee, Okeke, and Santana.
The indictment says the detainee’s body and legs went limp after being put in the choke hold and she appeared to go unconscious.
Santana allegedly dragged the detainee a few more steps before coming to a brief stop to adjust himself and his grip, and then placed the detainee into another chokehold while dragging her forward. After a few more steps of dragging the unconscious detainee, Santana let go of his hold and the detainee hit the floor directly on her face.
The indictment says the detainee had multiple facial fractures, including an orbital wall fracture and severe bruising.
As the detainee was seen lying unconscious on the ground, Santana allegedly grabbed her prison uniform while Okeke grabbed her right arm, and together they allegedly dragged the unconscious detainee, whose body was still lying on the concrete floor, through the other side of the room.
After this incident, all three officers submitted signed DPSCS official use of force reports that were each allegedly written to conceal the fact that the detainee was put in a chokehold, went unconscious because of the choke hold; that Santana used unauthorized and excessive force against the detainee; and, that Santana had unjustifiably committed an illegal assault of the detainee.MORE NEWS: Maryland Weather: Most Of The Region Could See Severe Storm Sunday Evening
Santana is charged with one count of First Degree Assault and two counts of Misconduct in Office. Washington and Okeke are each charged with two counts of Misconduct in Office. If convicted, Santana faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison for First Degree Assault.