Inmate claims deputy attacked him in jail

Posted at 4:00 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 21:58:37-05

A local inmate said he was attacked by a jail deputy, and he has filed a claim over the injuries he suffered in the incident that was captured on video.

According to a claim filed on Thursday, it was in August 2015 when inmate William Chism was being escorted to a medical appointment by two deputies at San Diego's Central Jail.

Chism's attorney, Dan Gilleon, told 10News that his client was diagnosed with a mental illness known to jail officials. Gilleon said as Chism was being taken to his appointment, he began mouthing off and used a racial slur.

It was at that point when a deputy grabbed Chism and violently took him down. While on the ground, Chism was kneed several times in the head.

"He's defenseless, powerless," Gilleon said as he showed 10News video of the incident. "They didn't like what he was saying … I see a defenseless man being abused by people in power. It's scary."

Chism was awaiting trial on charges of carrying a weapon and threatening an officer.

Gilleon believes Chism was thrown more than six feet and then body slammed into the hard tile.

Chism, who was released in December, suffered a torn rotator cuff, Gilleon said. Chism remains in pain and needs surgery.

Chism's claim comes a year after another inmate at the Central Jail filed a lawsuit, claiming guards paraded him naked after a strip search and used too-tight handcuffs, breaking his wrist.

That case was settled.

Meanwhile, Gilleon said his client is "willing to speak out" and added that the deputies are "professionals" that "aren't supposed to act like thugs."

Gilleon acknowledged that Chism was "no angel," but he said, "He's the criminal and they are the ones behaving like the criminal."

The deputy named in the complaint, 20-year veteran Kevin Paiva, still works for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. It is unknown if he faced any discipline.

County officials said they have not seen the claim and declined to comment.