FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. (KTVI) – A prison guard is facing a disciplinary hearing after he allegedly doused pizza with pepper spray before giving it to inmates.
According to Franklin County Sheriff Gary Tolke, the guard admitted to using his pepper spray in the building but denies intentionally spraying the pizza and giving it to inmates.
“He said when he test-fired the canister in a janitor’s closet sink, he accidentally got some of the spray on the pizza that he was eating,” said Toelke.
The deputy says he allowed an inmate, Ricky Walton, into the closet to get a roll of toilet paper.
At that point, he says Walton stole the pizza.
However, Walton’s family finds that story pretty far-fetched.
His sister, Katelyn, says there was no way her brother could somehow sneak the pizza past the guards.
“Everybody knows you don’t walk through those halls unless there’s a cop right there beside you. And he’s handcuffed when he’s taken out,” she said.
Instead, she says Walton was given the pizza, which was then shared with three other inmates.
“There were a couple of them that had stomach issues, stomach pain,” said Toelke.
“He said his throat was hurting really bad, he was puking a lot, which was causing irritation in his stomach,” said Walton.
A disciplinary hearing is scheduled later this week for the deputy.
If he is found guilty of violating policy, the pepper sprayed pizza could cost him his job.
In the meantime, the deputy is suspended with pay.
“It’s not right,” says Katelyn Walton, “We’re all human. We don’t need to be treated like that. You wouldn’t feed a dog pepper spray, why would you feed a human?”