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Feb 29,2008
More inmates say they were abused at jail
by UPI

TAMPA, Fla. - A troubled Florida jail was hit with more claims of abuse by corrections officers Friday.

Paul King, a former teacher with a history of alcohol-related arrests, said that last July after an arrest for public intoxication he was restrained in a chair and his head covered with a hood, the St. Petersburg Times reported. He said deputies used paper to cover the windows of a holding cell so their actions would not be videotaped.

Deputies say King was belligerent and that the hood was a spit mask placed on him after he spat at a guard.

At the same news conference, a lawyer, Bethany Jackson, said an inmate, Nick Molfetto, who was in a wheelchair because of a spinal injury was forced to sit on the floor of a transport van for three hours. That inflamed his back so a court appearance -- the reason he was being transported to the Hillsborough jail -- had to be postponed.

Six former inmates came forward in February to complain of abuse by guards. In the first case, a guard has been charged with assault for dumping a wheelchair-bound inmate on the floor.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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