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OKLAHOMA COUNTY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma man recently arrested and placed in the Oklahoma County Jail says he was released Tuesday with 42 bed bug bites.

“We’ve all heard the horror stories of the Oklahoma County Jail,” said Jess Eddy.

Eddy says he’s now left the jail with his own horror story.

“It’s a very dangerous place. They’re understaffed, they’re underpaid. It’s dirty. When you’re in there, you’re just on the verge of a mental health crisis the whole time,” he said.

Eddy was one of seven arrested Monday for refusing to leave a sit-in at District Attorney David Prater’s office. The protesters were demanding Prater drop the charges of terrorism against demonstrators at an earlier protest this year.

“He charged people with terrorism felonies that carry up to life sentences for free speech; those charges are just outrageous. They’re insane and they need to be dismissed,” said Eddy.

Eddy spent less than 24 hours locked up, but when he was released, he had another problem on his hands.

“I woke up at one point and looked down at where I was sleeping and there were a dozen bed bugs. I got out of jail and was just eaten up by bedbugs,” he said.

He says he was in a small jail cell with 18 other people with standing water and little access to a restroom.

“Nothing but the raw floor to lay on. I asked for a towel to lay on, they wouldn’t give me a towel. No blankets. I made a bed out of tissue paper,” said Eddy.

Eddy also says when he was booked, COVID-19 precautions were thrown out the window.

“As we were getting our fingerprints stamped, I saw that nobody was wiping the fingerprint scanner between person to person. I asked the worker, and she laughed and said we wiped it yesterday,” he said.

KFOR reached out to the Oklahoma County Jail Trust, who assured us COVID-19 precautions are taken very seriously.

As far as the bed bugs, they claim the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department, which was in control of the jail until recently, is to blame for the lack of pest control.

They say new pest control vendors will be hired soon.

Eddy says the conditions were inexcusable.

“If you cannot provide humane incarceration to people, then you’re subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishment,” said Eddy.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office says the claims that they have insufficiently treated the jail for pests are not true, sending KFOR records to prove the yearly treatment of the jail. In an official statement, they say,

“The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spent tens of thousands of dollars treating floors throughout the jail for bed bugs and other pests. It’s unfortunate that misinformation has been issued regarding our efforts to control pests when we operated the jail.  We are providing records from purchase orders showing treatments that were completed. We  continue to support the Trust and their efforts to operate the jail, and wish them all the best.”

Mark Myers, Public Information Officer, OK County Sheriff’s Office

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