MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — A Manatee County corrections deputy has resigned following an internal investigation into an incident involving excessive force on an inmate. 

  • Manatee corrections deputy resigns amid investigation
  • Deputy Louis Valentin accused of punching inmate
  • Valentin faces possible battery charges

Deputy Louis Valentin, 34, faces possible charges of battery for allegedly punching an inmate on August 4.

According to the affidavit, the incident occurred after Deputy Valentin escorted inmate Lashard McCullough to the Disciplinary Exercise Yard after McCullough caused a disruption in his cell.

As Valentin attempted to close the door, officials say, McCullough, who was handcuffed, inserted his hand through a square opening in the door and pulled it toward him.

Despite orders from Valentin to let go of the door, McCullough continued to try and pry the door open.

After a short tug of war with the door, Valentin stepped inside the cell and punched McCullough in the side of his face, according to the affidavit.

However, Valentin said that was in response to McCullough spitting on him, which McCullough adamantly denied.

The incident was caught on surveillance video.

Sheriff Rick Wells said, “This is not how our deputies are trained, and this type of behavior will not be tolerated at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. Standards are in place to prevent incidents like this from happening, but when a deputy or employee fails to follow our rules they will face consequences for their actions, to include termination and criminal prosecution. Recently, there has been a pattern of abusive conduct among a small percentage of the approximately 300 corrections employees, of which those four have been criminally charged. This culture has been identified, and all deputies in our Corrections Bureau are currently going through additional training.”

Valentin was hired as a Corrections Deputy on December 18, 2015, and resigned on August 8, 2019.