Jail sergeant charged in in­jury of in­mate

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Noelle Phillips

Den­ver Dis­trict At­tor­ney Beth McCann has filed crim­i­nal charges against a Den­ver Sher­iff Depart­ment sergeant in con­nec­tion with an in­ci­dent at the down­town jail.

Sgt. Ran­dolph Romero, 50, was charged Fri­day with third-de­gree as­sault, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from McCann’s of­fice. Romero is on paid in­ves­ti­ga­tory leave while the charges are pend­ing, said Dae­lene Mix, a spokes­woman for the Den­ver Depart­ment of Safety.

Romero is ac­cused of tak­ing an in­mate to the floor with­out ev­i­dent cause, the news re­lease said. The in­mate was wear­ing hand­cuffs and a spit hood when the in­ci­dent oc­curred March 18 in­side an el­e­va­tor at the Down­town De­ten­tion Cen­ter.

Two other sher­iff’s deputies were in­side the el­e­va­tor but were not in­volved in the in­ci­dent. The in­mate suf­fered a wrist in­jury, the news re­lease said.

The Den­ver Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice ini­ti­ated the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and was joined by Den­ver Po­lice Depart­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

Romero was charged with the mis­de­meanor through a crim­i­nal sum­mons; he was not taken into cus­tody. He is sched­uled for ar­raign­ment on Sept. 5.

McCann, who was elected in Novem­ber, won sup­port from Den­ver’s crim­i­nal jus­tice ac­tivists by say­ing she would file charges, if war­ranted, against law en­force­ment of­fi­cers ac­cused of us­ing ex­ces­sive force. Her pre­de­ces­sor, Mitch Mor­ris­sey, was crit­i­cized by ac­tivists for rarely charg­ing deputies and of­fi­cers who were ac­cused of us­ing ex­ces­sive force while on duty.

It is rare for Den­ver law en­force­ment to be charged in con­nec­tion with on-duty in­ci­dents, and con­vic­tions are more rare.

In 2008, Den­ver deputy Daniel Steck­man was charged with third-de­gree as­sault for an in­ci­dent with an in­mate dur­ing the in­take process, but the charges were dis­missed. Steck­man was fired from the depart­ment in 2016 for al­low­ing jail trusties to con­duct pat searches of other in­mates and to use force­ful holds dur­ing some searches.

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