Crime - Sacto 911

San Joaquin County jail guard charged with beating inmate

Video shows San Joaquin County jail officer strike inmate

Footage released by the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office shows Matthew Mettler, a correctional officer, hitting a man brought in for intoxication in a holding area of the San Joaquin County Jail in August of 2017.
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Footage released by the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office shows Matthew Mettler, a correctional officer, hitting a man brought in for intoxication in a holding area of the San Joaquin County Jail in August of 2017.

Rookie San Joaquin County Jail correctional officer Ray De Jesus faces a misdemeanor assault charge after allegedly hitting an inmate during an argument.

De Jesus' fellow guards reported him to their superiors after an incident on Dec. 10, 2017 where he allegedly struck an inmate several times during the course of a verbal argument. The inmate suffered minor injuries and was treated by jail medical staff, while De Jesus was placed on administrative leave.

“This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar, whose office is prosecuting the case. “Individuals who abuse their power and position will be tried and punished to the full extent of the law.”

De Jesus did not enter a plea Monday morning, when he was arraigned on a single charge of assault by a public officer. He is due back for further arraignment at 8:30 a.m. on April 30.

He was sworn in as a correctional officer in March 2017, according to The Record, and moved to Stockton from Oxnard as a nine-year-old in 1996.

If convicted, De Jesus faces up to one year in county jail and a $10,000 fine. He was not in San Joaquin County Jail custody as of Monday.

In a video released last week, San Joaquin County Jail correctional officer Matthew Mettler can be seen striking an inmate who is seated on the ground wearing a hood to keep him from spitting at officers. Sheriff Steve Moore has said he supports Mettler being charged with assault for the August 2017 incident.

Benjy Egel: (916) 321-1052, begel@sacbee.com

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