OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An Alameda County sheriff’s deputy was charged Thursday with assault by a public officer and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury for allegedly facilitating the an assault of an inmate at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in October, prosecutors said.
Joseph Bailey, a 28-year-old Tracy resident who’s been with the sheriff’s office for three years but has now been placed on administrative leave, is scheduled to be arraigned on the assault charges in Alameda County Superior Court in Dublin on Friday afternoon.
Bailey was arrested for the incident on Wednesday.
Sheriff’s officials said detectives interviewed about 25 people, including employees of the sheriff’s office and inmates, some who were released after the Oct. 24 incident in Bailey allegedly allowed a small group of inmates to assault another inmate in a minimum-security area.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Estep wrote in a probable cause statement that tensions arose between Bailey and the alleged victim when the man was moved into a minimum security unit at Santa Rita on Oct. 24 and refused to participate in a custodial strip search which is required by policy.
Estep said Bailey and the inmate had “a verbal disagreement” in which the inmate alleged that Bailey was “being spooked” and that he would see Bailey on the streets.
Estep wrote that the inmate eventually cooperated with the strip search and was moved to a cell.
But Estep said that before Bailey escorted the inmate to the cell, he spoke to several inmates in that unit about the man’s “behavior and demeanor.”
About 90 minutes later, at about 11:40 p.m. on Oct. 24, an inmate pressed and intercom button informing staff that the inmate “needed to be moved” and a deputy who responded noticed that the inmate “was bleeding and had several injuries consistent with being physically attacked (swollen eye, fractured nose, laceration to bottom lip, above left eye and forehead) which required him to be transported to an area hospital for medical treatment,” Estep wrote.
Before he was hospitalized, the inmate identified several inmates as the people who “punched and kicked him repeatedly” and told the deputy who investigated the incident that he believed he was attacked because he has family members who are affiliated with a gang that’s a rival of the gang that the other inmates are associated with, according to Estep.
The deputy who investigated the incident said Bailey told him, “I told those six guys to take care of him (the inmate victim) and make it look like he fell in the shower” but said, “he did not want the victim to get beat up that bad,” Estep wrote.
The inmates who allegedly beat up the inmate victim told the investigating deputy that Bailey told them, “Make it look like he fell in the shower,” according to Estep.
Bailey made a voluntary statement in the presence of his lawyer on Nov. 22 in which he acknowledged that he spoke with other inmates before placing the alleged victim in their pod, Estep said.
But Bailey said he had done that many times in the past “to tell inmates who was coming into their living area and told them he needed their help to make sure the victim did not cause anybody problems,” Estep wrote.
Bailey denied telling the other inmates to physically attack the victim and said “his intention was to have the inmates assist the victim,” Estep said.
Sheriff Gregory Ahern said in a statement that he’s “saddened and disturbed by the allegations” against Bailey but said, “I am confident that this case was a single incident isolated to this individual.”
Last Sept. 5, in a separate case, three current sheriff’s deputies and one former deputy were charged with mistreating inmates at Santa Rita by allowing an inmate to throw bodily fluids onto other inmates in a maximum security unit at the jail. The four defendants are scheduled to return to court on Friday for a pretrial hearing.
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