Deputy charged with punching inmate

Prison bars
Posted at 4:25 PM, Dec 26, 2012

LAND O'LAKES, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say a Tampa Bay area jail deputy will be fired after he allegedly punched an inmate in the jail medical ward.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office reports that 45-year-old Philip Bruce Walters grabbed the inmate by the neck and punched him in the head on Christmas night. It's unclear what prompted to alleged attack. Witnesses said the inmate was not aggressive.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the inmate grabbed Walter's two-way radio during the brawl and called for help. Deputies said the inmate had a bruise on his forehead and scrapes on his neck.

Walters first denied the beating, then said the inmate was aggressive.

He was charged with battery and booked into the same jail where he worked.

The sheriff's office said he was being fired Wednesday.