Pasco Sheriffs Office faces lawsuit over excessive force

Video: Jail inmate shot by concussion round
Posted at 11:14 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 23:21:10-04

In newly released video from inside Pasco County Jail, deputies are seen asking a combative inmate to allow them to handcuff him before conducting a cell inspection.

30-year-old Matthew Trevino, a schizophrenic army veteran in jail for misdemeanor probation violation refused to cooperate. Deputies say he had stripped naked and continued to flash his genitals.   

After a number of exchanges, Pasco County Corporals shot what's called a Nova Distraction Round through the cells lunch slot. The ammunition is designed to be a diversion and according to the manufacturer, should never to be fired directly at a person.

"It was one of the worst examples I've ever seen on how to treat a human being in the mental situation he was going through, I mean he had a complete brake from reality," said Lee Pearlman, Matthew Trevino's attorney.  

Pearlman is now suing the Pasco Sheriff's office on behalf of Trevino.

"In the photographs you can see tendon, bone, its a deep penetration, had this been an inch further left, realistically he would have died," said Pearlman.

An internal affairs investigation was launched but no officers were disciplined saying the deputy who fired the round was aiming at the floor and didn't mean to shoot Trevino.

Trevino now lives in Chicago but spoke to ABC by phone.

"I was screaming and crying, the pain was, basically felt like I lost the leg," said Trevino.

Trevino says he's had three surgeries to repair the wound but continues to have issues.

"I've got pain when I walk, I can't walk long distances," said Trevino.

The Pasco County Sheriff's office issued this statement regarding the incident.

"A criminal with a violent history in the jail failed to comely with lawful directions. His actions dictated our reaction"