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Three Florida Guards Charged with Beating 'Gunner'

Three Florida state prison guards were arrested October 6, 2000 and charged with kicking and beating a prisoner so severely that his crushed right testicle had to be surgically removed. The beating was administered by guards as a form of "counseling" to a prisoner for reportedly "stalking female staff." [Prisoners who stalk female guards and expose themselves are called "Gunners"]

The Florida DOC, already embroiled in controversy over the beating death of "XWing" prisoner Frank Valdes, pointed to the arrests as proof the agency is "policing" its own.

The DOC began investigating the incident at Columbia Correctional Institution after receiving a complaint from the injured prisoner's grandmother. Later, the DOC referred the case to the state attorney's office in Columbia County, which filed the charges.

Charles Norris, 30, was charged with felony malicious battery resulting in great bodily harm and with failure to report use of force. Captain Frederick Young, 32, was charged with misdemeanor malicious battery and failure to report use of force. Sergeant Kelvin Wynne, 38, was charged with failure to report use of force. All three were placed on paid administrative leave, along with a fourth guard, Rodney Crews, who was placed on paid leave but was not criminally charged.

According to reports, the incident began March 16, 2000, when 22yearold prisoner Vincent Chester was summoned to Captain Young's office for "counseling" about his inappropriate behavior directed at female guards. Young began talking to Chester, then grabbed him by his shirt collar and yanked him across his desk. At the same time, according to reports, Wynne and Norris "pushed and struck" Chester, at least once in the groin.

Later, as Norris was walking Chester to the prison infirmary for a checkup before putting him in segregation, "tensions escalated" between the two and Norris reportedly kicked Chester in the groin and hit him in the face and chest.

The next day, Chester was transferred to a hospital for treatment and diagnosed with a crushed right testicle, which required surgery.

The DOC told the Miami Herald that the employment records of the guards charged in the incident were not available. The DOC did provide Chester's disciplinary record, though, which includes infractions for disobeying orders, committing an "obscene, profane" act and selfmutilation.

Source: Miami Herald

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