Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Florida Politics
  4. /
  5. The Buzz

Three officers fired from Florida prison after beating and leaked messages went viral

The video, which showed three officers beating an inmate, was captured earlier this month.
Snap shot of video that shows multiple guards at Lake Correctional Institution beating an inmate. [YouTube]
Snap shot of video that shows multiple guards at Lake Correctional Institution beating an inmate. [YouTube]
Published Jul. 25, 2019

A Florida prison captain is among three officers to be arrested and fired Wednesday as part of an investigation into an alleged inmate beating that went viral earlier this month.

The video was captured at Lake Correctional Institution in Clermont by an inmate using a smuggled cellphone.

The Florida Department of Corrections opened an investigation into the incident last week.

Captain Milton Gass and correctional officers Hunter Lingo and Joshua Petersilge were arrested and relieved of duty on Wednesday. Lingo and Petersilge have been charged with malicious battery, a third-degree felony, while Gass is accused of falsifying reports.

The video was shot on July 8 and posted to YouTube on July 13. In the two weeks since then, the video has accumulated over 100,000 views on YouTube.

Related: Beating of Florida inmate, Facebook group messages spark broader concerns

Screen shots of a group chat that appear to show corrections officers making inappropriate remarks about an inmate beating circulated on social media. [Special to the Times]
Screen shots of a group chat that appear to show corrections officers making inappropriate remarks about an inmate beating circulated on social media. [Special to the Times]

Compounding the incident were screenshots of a private Facebook group chat that surfaced online that appeared to depict corrections officers from the jail making inappropriate comments about the beating.

One officer stated the beaten inmate “looks like beetle juice” and posted a meme with an image of Lester “Beetlejuice” Green, an actor and comedian who was a regular on Howard Stern’s show and who has microcephaly, a condition where a child is born with an abnormally small head.

Florida Department Secretary Mark Inch said in a statement that, despite the arrests, the investigation is not over.

“We took immediate action to terminate the employees arrested today following the criminal charges brought against them,” Inch said. “The Florida Department of Corrections will not tolerate inmate abuse at any level.”