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Man beaten in jail transport van in critical condition

A man who deputies say was attacked by another inmate inside a transport van headed to the Pinellas County jail was listed in critical condition Tuesday morning, a hospital official said.

Thomas Morrow, 59, of Treasure Island remained at Bayfront Medical Center, where he was hospitalized Saturday night after authorities said Leonard David Lanni Jr., 36, kicked him multiple times inside the van.

Morrow had been arrested under the Marchman Act — a statute providing for intake and treatment of a substance abuser — and was inside the van when Lanni, of St. Pete Beach, was picked up on a disorderly conduct charge.

A few miles from the jail, the driver saw Lanni kicking Morrow. He stopped at a parking lot, where two deputies intervened, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Monday.

Morrow suffered a ruptured spleen, a collapsed lung and extensive head injuries, Gualtieri said. An arrest affidavit showed he also had fractured ribs and cuts.

The incident happened days after employees with the private security company G4S Secure Solutions replaced 22 deputies who were assigned full time to driving transport vans.

Lanni faces a charge of aggravated battery. He remained at the jail Tuesday morning in lieu of $20,150 bail.

Man beaten in jail transport van in critical condition 07/09/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 3:44pm]
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