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3 prison officers accused of inmate abuse - abc27 WHTM

3 prison officers accused of inmate abuse

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

State police have filed criminal charges against three York County Prison correctional officers who allegedly harassed and mistreated inmates.

David Michael Whitcomb, 28, of Hallam; Mark Andrew Haynes, 26, of Jacobus; and Daniel H. Graff, 37, of York, each face a charge of official oppression.

The three allegedly organized wrestling matches between officers and inmates and presented inmates with bizarre food and drink challenges, according to police.

One inmate told authorities he took part in what he and the correctional officers called the "Retard Olympics" where he would do "stupid stuff for food and coffee," police said.

The inmate claims he was given various challenges that included drinking a gallon of milk in an hour, eating a spoon full of cinnamon, snorting a line of spicy vegetable Ramen noodle powder, snorting crushed up candy, and drinking a bottle of water with pepper foam in exchange for lounge food and coffee, police said.

The inmate, identified police as James Hicks Jr., said the challenges organized in the South Block by Whitcomb, Haynes and Graff later became physical and he would have to wrestle both Graff and Whitcomb, according to police.

Hicks said Graff and Whitcomb would also punch him in the arms and legs until he was numb, and that Whitcomb once "choked him out," police said.

Another inmate, identified as David Wright, told authorities that the correctional officers had organized a wrestling match between him and Hicks in a storage closet across the hallway from the officer's booth.

Wright said punching in the face was not allowed, and whoever got the other to "tap out" first was rewarded with lounge food and extra coffee, according to police.

He also told investigators that he wrestled Graff in the closet, allowed Whitcomb to punch him in the leg and give him a "dead leg," and let Haynes punch him in the arm to see if he could take the hit without falling, police said.

Wright told authorities he never received the food Haynes promised for the punch, or the coffee he was supposed to get for allowing the officer to pepper foam him in the face, police said.

Prison officials were investigating minor vandalism earlier this year and were reviewing surveillance video when they saw Haynes grab Wright around the neck, according to investigators.

Prison management began an internal investigation and eventually turned the matter over to state police, according to a statement from the county.

The correctional officers were placed on unpaid administrative leave at that time, county officials said.

 

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