Corrections Officer Matthew Mettler is facing charges after surveillance video shows him allegedly striking a hooded inmate whose hands were cuffed behind his back.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office released the above 35-second clip depicting the alleged abusive incident.
In the video, the man, who officers say became combative after being detained for public intoxication, can be seen sitting with a spit hood on his head and hands cuffed behind his back when a corrections officer enters the room. That officer, who authorities have identified as Mettler, can be seen walking up to the shackled man and blatantly striking him with his hand.
The man, who remained unidentified at the time of publishing, can then be seen falling over to the side before slumping to the floor.
Before exiting the room, the corrections officer is seen picking the arrestee back up before placing him upright against the wall.
Authorities said the man was in custody after being found passed out from intoxication outside of a business in Manteca, according to The Modesto Bee.
The incident occurred in August 2017, though video was just released March 13. Police say the arrestee was both verbally and physically combative when taken into custody, and had spit at officers which led him to have a spit hood placed on his head.
Authorities reported the two officers who were in the room witnessing the incident as subsequently reporting it to their superiors.
In the above Facebook post, San Joaquin Sheriff Steve Moore said did not condone the actions taken by the corrections officer, and further stated that he supported a misdemeanor assault charge brought against Mettler by the District Attorney’s Office. The full statement reads:
It is with sadness that we share with you this video as released by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.
The video shows a man in the holding area of the San Joaquin County Jail after he was brought in for intoxication by Manteca Police Officers on August 24th, 2017. The man is wearing a “spit bag” on his head after he allegedly attempted to spit on those officers.
What happens next is one of our correctional officers enters the holding area and then, inexplicably, strikes the man in the head. The detainee was sitting, legs and arms cuffed, and apparently posing no threat.
We are very grateful to the Manteca Police Officer who witnessed this incident and then immediately reported the matter up the chain of command.
Correctional Officer Matthew Mettler was immediately placed on administrative leave where he remains.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office launched an internal affairs and criminal investigation which, along with this video, was handed over to the DA’s office for prosecution.
About one month later, Correctional Officer Mettler was charged by DA’s office with a misdemeanor count of Assault by a Public Officer.
As Sheriff, I don’t condone the actions as portrayed on this video by our jail staff. It is inconsistent with the professionalism of San Joaquin County Correctional Officers, and of this department. The action taken by the DA’s office is appropriate and we support their position.