Brian Sterner, who can drive, was arrested on a traffic violation. When he was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail, he couldn’t believe what happened next.
Sheriff’s Deputy Charlette Jones looked at him and didn’t believe he was a quadriplegic. She walked behind him, grabbed the handles on the back of the hospital-grade wheel chair and dumped him onto the ground.
Sterner says he tried to roll as he was going down, but hit so hard he thought he had broken two ribs. Then, while he was on the floor, deputies frisked him and carelessly tried to get him back into the chair.
When WTSP tried to get a written report about the incident, the major who runs the Orient Road Jail said there is no incident report, because as far as they are concerned, they didn’t have a problem with, or cause a problem to, an inmate in a wheelchair.
But don’t tell that to Brian Sterner.
Sterner says it’s incredibly degrading and it’s an example of how poorly trained the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office is. He adds, if they’re trying to figure out if somebody needs to be in a wheelchair or not, there are many other ways to do it than to dump someone on their face.