Prison guards employed at the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department(SFSD) were indicted for running their own private gladiator-style “fight club.”
Ringleader Scott Neu was charged with a number of misdemeanor and felony counts of making threats, inhumane treatment to a prisoner and inflicting cruel and unusual punishment. His cohorts, deputies Eugene Jones and Clifford Chiba were charged similarly. Neu has already was fired from the sheriff’s department in 2015. He has had numerous complaints filed against him during his tenure at SFSD. He was accused of sexually abusing three prisoners, according to a 2006 lawsuit.
In a joint news conference with the FBI, Prosecuting Attorney George Gascon laid out his findings. During the year-long investigation, it was found that Neu forced prisoners to fight. If the refused to comply, he would threaten them with mace, stun guns and other forms of abuse. In a written statement, several inmates claimed that they were forced to fight for food and other items for Neu’s entertainment.
Prisoners Stanley Harris and Ricardo Garcia said that Neu threatened them about reporting injuries sustained in the matches. He told them to tell anyone who asked that their injuries were a result of falling out the bunk.
The SFSD union representative defended all three officers by saying they never participated in fight clubs. The prisoner were allowed to wrestle to blow off steam, according the union rep.
“Neu, Jones and Chiba are the prime example of what is wrong with the correctional facilities,” said Garcon. “Chiba had the opportunity to stop it, but didn’t, so he violated the rules of his job.