Jail sergeant charged in injury of inmate
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.