PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - A Pinellas County deputy was been charged with battery after an investigation found he struck a juvenile last year, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Monday.
Joel De Los Reyes, 51, is accused of failing to report the incident and then lying about it in a report.
Reyes has posted bond.
Another deputy, Adrian Nenu, was also investigated in connection with the incident and received a suspension. The sheriff says he also lied about what occurred.
Nenu has worked for the jail for 25 years and Reyes seven years.
The incident occurred Aug. 31, 2013, in the South Division of Pinellas County Jail. The juvenile involved, Stephen Valentin, 15, was booked on an adult robbery charge.
According to the sheriff, Valentin got into a dispute with another inmate about what was on television. One of the detention deputies turned off the television.
At some point, the juvenile was brought out of his cell and De Los Reyes hit him, the sheriff said. Valentin was not injured.
"He just lost it," the sheriff said.
This latest arrest and termination of a detention deputy is the fifth since last June.
"One is too many," the sheriff said.
In June, Elizabeth Kretzer, 40, who had worked for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office since October 1999, was fired after surveillance video showed her slapping a female inmate and then lying about it.
According to Gualtieri, Kretzer does have prior allegations of inappropriate contact with inmates on her record. However, he said none of those were ever substantiated.
Then in July, Richard Stotts, a12-year veteran at the jail, was let go after a 13-second video show him approach an inmate, strike the side of his head and then take him to the ground.
According to Gualtieri, the deputy's actions were unacceptable because the inmate was secured in handcuffs around his waist.
"You don't hit handcuffed people," the sheriff said at the time. "Period, end of story."
More trouble surfaced in November involving two detention deputies.
Detention deputies Mark Capanna and Klaus Reinert resigned over an incident inside the F wing of the Pinellas County Jail that occurred about 5 a.m. Oct. 3. Reinert is accused of hitting an inmate and Capanna, who broke up the altercation, failed to report it.