CLEARWATER, Fla. - At a Tuesday night press conference, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri discussed the details of the investigation and charges against two Pinellas County Sheriff's Office detention deputies for felony official misconduct.
Mark Capanna, 44, and Klaus Reinert, 40, are facing charges. Capanna worked as a deputy for 23 years and Reinert for 12 years.
Both Capanna and Reinert have resigned over an incident inside the F wing of the Pinellas County Jail that occurred around 5 a.m. October 3.
The Sheriff explained that inmate Casio Burton, 28, was being moved from Pinellas County Jail to the Pasco County Jail when he became concerned over visitation, the sheriff said.
This is when the inmate came into contact with Capanna and Reinert. Both men were apparently working in the control room which is shielded by bulletproof glass.
The Sheriff says because the glass is thick Burton was yelling to get their attention. Reinert was the one who apparently walked out to talk with Burton.
"Deputy Reinert asked Burton quote, 'What the [expletive] do you want?'" the Sheriff explained.
Reinhert reportedly then launched a vulgar comment at Burton and Burton returned some biting words.
"At that point, Reinert got mad because there was a reference to his mother," the Sheriff said.
That is when Reinhert allegedly punched the inmate in the face.
"This is immature on the part of deputies," the Sheriff said.
Worried about his safety, Burton reportedly punched Reinert back and knocked him to the ground. Deputy Capanna then came out of the control room and broke up the fight.
"Neither Deputy Reinert nor Deputy Capanna did any reporting, no documenting reports and didn't notify any supervisors with the Detention and Corrections Bureau [about the incident]," Sheriff Gualtieri explained.
Eight inmates who apparently witnessed the fight did file reports and an investigation was launched.
Sheriff Gualtieri said both deputies denied the allegations when confronted with the reports.
" [They] denied there was ever any touching or striking. Deputy Reinert denied committing a battery...it was just a simple slip and fall on a wet floor," the Sheriff said.
Days later, after confronted with the inconsistencies in the reports, Sheriff Gualtieri told ABC Action News Capanna confessed.
"He and Reinert had concocted the story about the slip and fall," he added.
Both Capanna and Reinert resigned.
ABC Action News tried to speak with Reinert at his home Tuesday night but no one answered the door.
Both men turned themselves in to face the charges and have each been released on $5,000 bond.
According to the Sheriff, the area of the jail where this fight took place is now monitored by surveillance cameras.
The Sheriff does not believe their resignations will impact their pensions.
Gualtieri said Burton is "no Boy Scout," but that it doesn't matter because an inmate should be taken care of and not punched in the face.
Burton has a criminal history in Pinellas County stemming back to 2005. He has been charged with possession of drugs, burglary, battery of a law enforcement officer, domestic battery, felon in possession of a firearm, armed trafficking of cocaine, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and operating a drug house.