HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A law enforcement officer with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Office of the Inspector General arrested a guard at the Eastham unit last week in connection to allegations that he punched and kicked an inmate while he was questioning him about a reported incident involving a female guard.
Juan Torres, 29, of Cypress, was arrested and charged with Class A misdemeanor official oppression charge.
According to the arrest affidavit East Texas News obtained Monday, the incident occurred on July 5, and it was reported the next day. The OIG officer met with a guard that witnessed the alleged "unprovoked use of force" by Torres.
The guard told the officer that Torres, a lieutenant at the prison, had the inmate brought to his office, so he could question him about an alleged incident that occurred between the inmate and a female guard at the facility.
According to the affidavit, the witness said Torres punched the inmate in the face and upper body while he was questioning the man about the alleged incident. As a result, the inmate fell to the floor, and Torres allegedly then began kicking him in the side and punching him the face several more times.
The witness told the OIG officer that the inmate was able to stand without assistance, and Torres told him to take the inmate to a pre-hearing detention cell. When the guard returned, he told Torres about the bruises he saw on the inmate's face
A short time later, the inmate was brought back to Torres' office, the affidavit stated. This time, he was in hand restraints. Torres questioned the inmate about the alleged incident with the female guard again, and the inmate denied any wrongdoing, the affidavit stated.
At that point, Torres allegedly grabbed the inmate by the left arm and forced him to the floor. The affidavit stated that the inmate's face struck the concrete floor, causing a cut above his right eye. The witness told the OIG officer that the inmate was unable to brace his fall because of the hand restraints he was wearing at the time, the affidavit stated.
Because the inmate was "unresponsive." he was placed on a gurney and taken to a Houston County hospital.
The witness told the OIG officer that he was contacted by Torres a short time after the alleged assault and handed him a typed statement, the affidavit stated. Torres allegedly told him to write was typed on the page on a form and sign it, and the witness did it out of fear of retaliation.
"[The witness] informed me that the statement he was instructed to write as his official statement was a false statement and an attempt by Lt. Torres to cover the mistreatment that he (Lt. Torres) subjected [the inmate] to," the OIG officer said in the affidavit.
Later, the OIG officer spoke with the alleged assault victim. The inmate told the officer that Torres had been questioning him about allegations that he had ejaculated on a female guard as she passed by his cell, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, the inmate said after he denied the allegations, Torres punched him in the face. He said when he fell to the floor, Torres began kicking him in the side and punching him in the face, the affidavit stated.