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Three California Jail Guards Charged in “Fight Club” Case

Scott Neu, the San Francisco deputy identified as the ringleader of a gladiator-style jailhouse “fight club,” was charged with four felony counts of assault under color of authority, four felony counts of making threats, four misdemeanor counts of inhumanity to a prisoner and five misdemeanor counts of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on March 1, 2016.

Two other deputies, Eugene Jones and Clifford Chiba, were also charged for their roles in the prisoner fight ring. Both Jones and Chiba face two misdemeanor counts of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment and one misdemeanor count of breaching their official duties. Jones faces two additional felony counts of assault under color of authority. Neu, who was previously accused in a 2006 lawsuit of sexually assaulting three prisoners, was fired in April 2015.

District Attorney George Gascón laid out the findings of a year-long investigation in a joint news conference with the FBI. He said that for months, Neu forced prisoners to gamble for food, bedding and other essentials, then told his chosen “gladiators” that they would be handcuffed, maced, beaten or shocked with a stun gun if they refused to fight for his entertainment. Gascón said two prisoners, Ricardo P. Garcia and Stanley Harris, told investigators that deputies had threatened them and told them that if they were injured in the fights they were to say they had fallen off a bunk. The charges against Neu, Jones and Chiba stem from two alleged fights that occurred in March 2015 at County Jail No. 4.

Neu’s union representative quickly defended him, and Neu’s attorney said the guard had only allowed two prisoners to “blow off steam” by wrestling. According to Gascón, while Neu and Jones are accused of forcing the prisoners to fight, Chiba is charged with being present and failing to stop them.


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