Troubling accusations against Pa. county COs

Accused of running a fight club and forcing inmates to participate in humiliating acts, deemed the "Retard Olympics"

By Paul Smith

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — State Police are investigating three York County Prison corrections officers, accused of running a fight club and forcing inmates to participate in humiliating acts, deemed the “Retard Olympics.” The revelations came about during an internal investigation of criminal mischief occurring in the South Block of the prison. Investigators saw a Corrections Officer grab an inmate around the neck on surveillance video. That inmate, David Wright, 27, of Red Lion, was then asked to provide investigators with a written statement of what was going on in the South Block of the prison.

Wright reported three of the corrections officers on the block, David Whitcomb, Mark Haynes and Daniel Graff, arranged for Wright to wrestle another inmate for special privileges, namely food from the lounge and extra coffee. The fight, against inmate James Hicks, 27, of Dover, took place in a closet in the south block. The officers instructed the inmates on the rules: no punching in the face, and the winner would be the inmate who got the other to tap out, or submit. Wright won the fight, and as punishment for losing, Hicks was not allowed to work in the hallway.

Wright was also forced to wrestle Officer Graff, 37, of York. Wright says Graff choked him out and Wright tapped out. Officer Whitcomb told Wright he would give him lounge food if he could punch him in the leg and give him a ‘dead leg.’ Wright allowed Whitcomb to punch him. Officer Haynes offered Wright lounge food if he could take a punch in the arm from Haynes without falling. Wright allowed Haynes to hit him, but never received the promised reward. Wright also accuses Graff of pepper spraying him in the face, with a promise of coffee for Wright. Wright says Graff sprayed him with pepper foam and then renegged on the coffee.

Full story: Troubling accusations against York County Prison Guards

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