Lake County Sheriff's Office investigating allegation of abuse against inmate

An investigation at the Lake County Sheriff's Office is looking into allegations of abuse against an inmate

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — An investigation at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is looking into allegations of abuse against an inmate at the jail.

The deputy at the center of the complaint has been temporarily reassigned.

“I want my brother’s story out,” said Lisa Feczko.

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Lisa Feczko was transparent about why her brother, Gerardi, has been sitting the Lake County Jail for more than a month.

“My brother is a heroin addict. He was detoxing at the time. And he hadn’t had any for a few days, so by the time they had arrested him, he was doing worse,” she said.

Deputies said he refused the medication the nursing staff tried to give him, which is his right, but then, Lisa Feczko said things took a turn.

“(They) grabbed him in a chokehold and brought my brother down and slammed him on the ground,” she said.

The Sheriff’s Office provided an audio recording of a jail phone call, which it says explains why the deputy took action:

Gerardi: "Police beat me up when I got in here, man."
Woman: "Why?" 
Gerardi: "Because I was sick and they was trying to make me take medication and (expletive) and I snapped and they (expletive) beat me up, put me in restraints and all this crazy (expletive)."

Though there are cameras in the area, one did not exist that had an angle on the incident—and certain cameras don’t record.

The department is changing that, installing 14 new cameras that do record.

The sheriff has requested $18,000 to add 24 cameras next year.

In this case, without that jail phone call recording, investigators would have had to rely solely on the deputy’s word against the inmate.