QUEHANNA BEATING

by Julian Heicklen

Jason Enriquez, inmate CX­2346, was beaten on September 9, 1996, by Officers Stewart and Bell while in custody at the Quehanna Boot Camp. After the assault no state police were called and no criminal assault charges were filed against either Mr. Enriquez or the officers. Mr. Enriquez wishes to file such charges and he would like written testimony from the witnesses [Officer Ransel, Officer Amy Jo Smith, Sergeant Claycomb, Sergeant Kyles, and inmate Coleman (who was in his platoon, the 5th platoon), inmate Sawyer from the 3rd platoon, inmate Lucas (his cellmate), inmate Stansby (CX­5147), Preston Grimes, and another inmate that works in the housing unit]. Here is the story of the beating in Mr. Enriquez's own words:

"On Monday morning of September 9th 96. My bunky, Mr. Lucas assaulted me, I, Mr. Jason Enriquez CX­2346. He admitted to Sgt. Kechik and others of punching me in my mouth. I was taken to Medical, all I had was a cut lip. The Nurse wrote a Medical Report on that. We were both kicked out of the Quehanna Boot Camp for that problem. We were both hand cuff with our hands to the front. We were about to be escorted out of the Phase II building. He provokes me, and this time I assaulted him, by kicking him in the face. I was already upset and angry that I couldn't come home to my wife and four children on my release date, October 15th. After the kick, I was thrown to the ground, I did not resist at all. Officer Bell starts to give me knee blows to the back of my head. The left side of my ear, and neck and back area. He yells (Officer Bell) you like to kick. Sgt. Stewart squeezes the hand cuffs as tight, and hard as he can, and starts twisting my wrist back like he wanted to break them. I start to yell, I'm on the floor, why are use beating on me. Sgt. Stewart yells shut up. I yell, I'm not resisting. They both continue with the beating. Sgt. Stewart notices that I'm trying to cover my face from the knee blows that Officer Bell kept delivering, so Sgt. Stewart start to pull my hands away from my face. I'm straining even harder to protect my face, while Officer Bell kept pounding my Head, ears, neck, and Back area. I start to yell even louder, why don't use stop. Sgt. Stewart tells me to shut up. He gets angrier, and starts to squeeze under my jaw bone, like looking for a pressure point. I start yelling even louder, please stop. He tells me to shut up again, and at that point he puts his forearm under my neck and starts choking me, I thought he was going to choke me to death. I nearly passed out. He let's go then. At that point they carry me out of the Phase II building, and he starts to twist my wrist again, I couldn't yell because I was still trying to catch my breath. They put me on the grass, and he was still twisting. The nurse got there, and she was observing me, and I ask her if she could please tell Sgt. Stewart to stop, and she did, and he did a few seconds later. They picked me up and carried me across the street (They put shackles on my ankles earlier while I was getting beat on.) They took me to this room, not the nurses office, because we had to go past inmates rooms, and I figure they didn't want any of them to see me bruised. She examined me in the room, and took pictures. Sgt. Slippey took the pictures. The nurse wrote a medical report on my bruises. It was lunch time then, and Sgt. Slippey was about to walk me into the dining hall, he looks at the nurse and tells her, I shouldn't take him in there the way he looks. He didn't want the kitchen workers to see me bruise, and she agreed."

In the misconduct hearing of September 13, 1996, for Mr. Enriquez, Officers Bell and Stewart do not deny that the beating occurred. They claimed that Mr. Enriquez was resisting arrest. The medical records and the testimony of the nurse are critical here. They were not presented at the hearing. Mr. Enriquez tried to get the medical records from the medical department at the State Correctional Institute at Rockview where he was incarcerated. The medical department refused to give the medical records to Mr. Enriquez.