Florida deputy fired after kicking inmate who threw a cookie to a bird

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Deputy James Moran, 57, has been charged with one count of misdemeanor battery after kicking an inmate at Pinellas County Jail. (Photo: YouTube)Deputy James Moran, 57, has been charged with one count of misdemeanor battery after kicking an inmate at Pinellas County Jail. (Photo: YouTube)
Deputy James Moran (pictured left) has been charged with one count of misdemeanor battery after kicking an inmate at Pinellas County Jail. (Photo: YouTube)

A deputy at a Florida county jail has been fired and arrested after he ordered an inmate to perform 50 pushups and, when the inmate could not complete the task, he kicked him in the ribs, according to the Pinellas County sheriff’s office. The incident was captured on surveillance cameras.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In January, inmate Mario Christo and two other prisoners were assigned to work in the county jail's kitchen and were emptying trash into a dumpster. Christo told officers, after his release on April 16 due to his fear of retaliation, that he was putting the trash in the dumpster when he tossed a cookie to a bird,&nbsp;ABC News reports.” data-reactid=”23″>In January, inmate Mario Christo and two other prisoners were assigned to work in the county jail’s kitchen and were emptying trash into a dumpster. Christo told officers, after his release on April 16 due to his fear of retaliation, that he was putting the trash in the dumpster when he tossed a cookie to a bird, ABC News reports.

Deputy James Moran, 57, punished Christo for throwing the cookie by ordering him to perform 50 pushups, a punishment he told internal affairs he had inmates do in the past. Surveillance camera footage shows that Christo performed about 25 pushups before he became too fatigued to continue. Moran then walks up to Christo and kicks him in the side.

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In a&nbsp;news conference&nbsp;held on Tuesday, Pinella County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Christo believes deputy Moran broke his rib at the time, but didn’t report anything in fear of retribution.” data-reactid=”27″>In a news conference held on Tuesday, Pinella County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Christo believes deputy Moran broke his rib at the time, but didn’t report anything in fear of retribution.

Gualtieri said that Moran’s actions are “one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen.” He added, “We have an absolute responsibility to these inmates.”

Moran, a member of the department for six years, was fired and charged with one count of misdemeanor battery. He was taken to Pinellas County Jail, where the initial incident occurred.

After being charged with disorderly conduct, resisting an officer without violence and resisting an officer with violence back in July 2018, Christo was given a 364-day sentence in October. He was released this past April for time served, according to ABC News.

“We don’t treat people this way — we don’t treat inmates this way,” the sheriff said. “It’s so contrary to what we do and the obligation we have.”

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