Pinellas Detention Deputy Fired For Excessive Force

Pinellas County, Fla. (NewsRadio WFLA) - A Pinellas County Detention Deputy has been fired for using excessive force on a jail inmate while trying to stop a disturbance with other inmates in September.

According to a administrative report released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, Deputy Aaron Hall repeatedly poked an inmate in a wheelchair who began challenging Hall while he was talking to other inmates during a lockdown. Hall kicked his own chair, according to the report, confronted the inmate which only provoked him to become more aggressive with the deputy.

During their confrontation, Hall grabbed the inmate by his shirt and began yelling at him when the inmate spit toward Hall's face. Hall then hit the inmate three times in the face with an open hand.  

When Hall tried to call for other deputies, he realized the battery in his radio was dead.  He also did not have an emergency alarm with him that he could have also used.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the incident escalated and the inmate continued fighting with Hall as he tried to move him in his wheelchair to another location. The inmate then hit Hall with his elbows, but according to him it did not affect him.

Hall reportedly grabbed the inmate in his wheelchair until he finally stopped resisting.  He eventually was able to call for other deputies after changing the battery in his radio.

During an administrative interview, Hall admitted that he "could have handled things a little differently, definitely better."  

Hall also testified that "I should have stopped.  Once I first approached him and talked to him, instead of poking him in the head or continuing to argue with him, I should have just at that point escorted him to the vestibule, put him in the side pocket and been done with it, but I didn't." 

He also stated "I messed up but I'll take my lumps."The Review Board also cited a previous incident that Hall was reprimanded for when he kicked over a table while dealing with another inmate during a jail lockdown.

Hall was originally hired by the Sheriff's Office in February of 2006.

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