Ohio deputy gets fired for making inmates dance

May 3, 2012, 10:41 PM

Associated Press

(AP) – A northeast Ohio sheriff fired a deputy for ordering five jail inmates to dance to a song by Usher in exchange for privileges such as using a phone or microwave, the sheriff’s office said Thursday.

Dominic Martucci was accused of ordering the inmates to dance last month, after they were locked up in a disciplinary area, and then inviting colleagues to watch. The date of the incident was unclear; according to an internal report, various inmates and deputies said it happened on either April 10 or 11.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office conducted an internal investigation after an inmate reported the incident, and the 35-year-old Martucci was fired this week for violating department policies by mistreating inmates, acting inappropriately and having a cellphone in the jail, apparently used to play the music.

One inmate did the worm as Martucci played Usher’s “Yeah!” while another said he did the robot so that he could use a phone to contact relatives after a family member’s death.

Investigators say several deputies watched the inmates dance after they happen to walk by the cell or were called by Martucci. Some deputies told investigators the dancing only lasted a few seconds. But several inmates say the dancing went on for at least several minutes, and it appeared the deputies were protecting Martucci by being on the lookout for any supervisors.

“The community needs to be assured that all inmates that come through the doors of the Summit County jail will be treated humanely and with respect,” Inspector Bill Holland of the sheriff’s office said Thursday. “All allegations to the contrary will be investigated. We take these matters very seriously, and any member of our agency that does not share this philosophy will be disciplined accordingly.”

The internal report says inmates were asked by Martucci to do a “bump and grind” routine if they wanted a recently removed microwave returned to their unit.

Martucci said in the report he unplugged the inmates’ unit microwave after some ignored his orders to return to their cell for lockup. He said he returned later to tell the inmates they would have to dance for him if they wanted to get out of lockup and get their microwave back.

Investigators said Martucci admitted making a mistake but told them he was only trying to ease tension in the jail. He said his actions were wrong in hindsight, and he had not planned to ask the inmates to dance. He also was cited for conduct unbecoming an officer and failing to properly document why the inmates had been put in the disciplinary area.

One inmate said Martucci told him he had to dance “one full minute to my liking.” He said Martucci later didn’t reward him for the dancing like he had with other inmates, and told him he “messed up, you’ll be going to the hole.”

Another inmate, who reported the incident, told investigators he felt “humiliated” for being forced to dance in front of other inmates.

The deputies who may have observed the dancing remain on the job, but the investigation is ongoing and could lead to further disciplinary measures, Holland said. Some deputies told investigators the inmates had been laughing and appeared to be having a good time during the incident, according to the report.

No public phone number was listed for Martucci, who had been with the department since 2004. A message was left Thursday with a union for law enforcement officers.

There are no blemishes in Martucci’s disciplinary file, which is expunged every 12 months under the deputies’ collective bargaining agreement, Holland said.

___

Associated Press writer Barbara Rodriguez in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

The image from video released on Jan. 27, 2023, by the City of Memphis, shows Tyre Nichols on the g...
Associated Press

Memphis authorities release video in Tyre Nichols’ death

Video showing Memphis officers beating a Black man was made public Friday after they were charged with murder in the death of Tyre Nichols.
2 days ago
Demonstrators stage a rally in front of the White House to celebrate President Joe Biden's plan to ...
Kevin Stone

Lawsuits keeping over 300,000 Arizonans from getting student loan relief

Lawsuits are preventing more than 300,000 Arizonans from having some or all of their student debt dismissed, the Biden administration said Friday.
2 days ago
FILE -  A Goodyear tire sits on display at a tire shop on Feb. 12, 2014, in South Euclid, Ohio. A f...
Associated Press

Arizona lawyer subpoenaed in criminal investigation of Goodyear tires

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles is gathering evidence in a criminal investigation of Goodyear recreational vehicle tires.
3 days ago
Following days of rain, floodwaters cover streets in the Planada community of Merced County, Calif....
Associated Press

Atmospheric rivers in California boost water allocation for cities

Public water agencies in California will be getting more water from the state because of recent heavy rain.
3 days ago
(Brian Munoz/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)...
Associated Press

FDA declines to regulate CBD; calls on Congress for fix

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday there are too many unknowns about CBD products to regulate them as foods or supplements under the agency’s current structure and called on Congress to create new rules for the massive and growing market. The marijuana-derived products have become increasingly popular in lotions, tinctures and foods, while their […]
3 days ago
FILE - An employee works in the battery assembly hall at the BMW Spartanburg plant in Greer, S.C., ...
Associated Press

US economy slowed but still grew at 2.9% rate last quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual pace from October through December, ending 2022 with momentum despite the pressure of high interest rates and widespread fears of a looming recession. Thursday’s estimate from the Commerce Department showed that the nation’s gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of economic output — […]
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Ohio deputy gets fired for making inmates dance