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Suwannee County correctional officer accused of abusing disabled inmate

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Posted at 2:43 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 14:43:44-05

LIVE OAK, Fla. (WTXL) — A correctional officer at Suwannee Correctional Institution is facing felony charges after being accused of assaulting a disabled inmate and harassing the witness who allegedly saw him do it.

According to the probable cause affidavit, on Sept. 19, 2020, correctional officer Scott Edward Johns has been accused of punching a disabled inmate in the head while the inmate was sleeping.

Documents said that a witness saw Johns walk up to the disabled inmate’s cell and punch them through a flap in the door, unprovoked.

Though video from the prison did not capture the assault, a witness was seen on video reacting to what happened as they moved away from the incident.

Following Johns’ reassignment for unknown reasons, investigators said he confronted the witness after waiting for them to be alone, despite having no reason to be in the area where the witness was.

According to investigators, Johns told the witness, “I know that it appeared that I punched that inmate, but I was just playing around.”

“You went too far, you’ll see,” Johns said to the witness according to the affidavit.

Based on the evidence, authorities found probable cause to charge Johns with abuse of a disabled adult and harassing a witness. Johns was arrested on Dec. 8 and released from the Suwannee County Jail the following day.