Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy 57-year-old James Moran is off the job, according to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
Sheriff Gualtieri also arrested deputy Moran after viewing video footage of him forcing an inmate to do push-ups and then kicking the inmate when he got tired and stopped.
Moran now faces a charge of simple battery, Gualtieri said during a Tuesday press conference.
The inmate’s crime?
Feeding a bird a cookie that was going in the trash anyway.
The inmate, Mario Christo, 31, filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office internal affairs division after he was released from jail for charges of resisting an officer and disorderly conduct.
Sheriff Gualtieri said there was no reasonable use for physical punishment of Christo and called the situation “one of the stupidest things” he’s ever seen, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
It happened on January 11 when Christo who was working as a trustee in kitchen and taking out the trash with two other inmates.
Christo took a cookie from the dumpster and tossed it towards a bird that was landing on the dumpster.
The bird began eating the cooking.
That’s when Moran began cussing and ranting and asking which one of them fed the bird.
Christo admitted he fed he bird.
Moran cussed at Christo and demanded he drop on all fours and “give him 50.”
Christo attempted to comply and dropped to the ground and started doing push-ups.
After about two dozen, video shows Christo apparently become exhausted.
That’s when Moran walks over and kicks Christo in his side.
Christo never reported the incident until after he was released out of fear of retaliation, Sheriff Gualtieir said.
Sheriff Gualtier said the video left him “speechless.”
“It is so ridiculous and it is outside the bounds and it is such misconduct,” he said.
Christo was considered a cooperative inmate otherwise he wouldn’t have been permitted to be part of the worker’s release program, which allows workers to work in order to shorten their sentences.
Sheriff Gualtieri said the jail, which holds around 3,000 inmates at any given time has an “absolute responsibility for their care custody and well-being,” according to ABCNews.
Overall, Gualtieri claims, jail personnel do “very well every day and respect inmates’ rights.”
Moran was released from jail on a $500 cash bond Tuesday afternoon, according to online records.
Watch the incident above.
Watch Sheriff Gualtier’s news conference below