Inmate’s nose, face fractured in cell
A former East Baton Rouge Parish Prison jailer accused of attacking an inmate last month, knocking him unconscious, surrendered to his former colleagues Wednesday.
Brent Ashley Rideau, 32, 566 Blount Road, was booked on counts of second-degree battery, a felony, and malfeasance in office. Rideau had worked in the prison since August 2008.
“This kind of behavior can’t be tolerated,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. “As police officers, nobody makes us put on the badge and take the oath of office. When we do, we’ve got to live above it.”
Rideau was fired Aug. 29 following an internal investigation, the sheriff said.
On Aug. 16, Rideau stormed into a cell with his fist drawn and punched William Wayne Duvall, a drunken inmate who had been using “racially charged rhetoric,” according to an arrest warrant. Rideau is black and Duvall is white.
Duvall, who has a lengthy criminal history, had been booked on counts of resisting an officer and disturbing the peace. He admitted he was “very drunk, being very loud, obnoxious, cursing and yelling” after he was booked, the warrant says.
“Regardless of who he is, he didn’t deserve what happened,” Gautreaux said, “and that’s why we fired our deputy and we’re going to charge him criminally.”
Bleeding from the nose and mouth, Duvall, 42, was taken to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center with a broken nose and fractured face. “Obtained medical records verified such injuries,” the warrant says.
Investigators reviewed surveillance footage showing Rideau exiting the central booking control cage, retrieving some keys and then rushing into the cell. The warrant says the camera angles did not provide any views of Rideau punching the inmate in the face.
But in interviews with investigators, deputies confirmed seeing Rideau knock Duvall to the ground, his face “covered in a large amount of blood as he bled from the nose and mouth,” the warrant says.
Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said the investigation took a few weeks because deputies had to locate witnesses, including some inmates who had been released.
Since his beating, Duvall has been accused again of using a racial epithet to address another deputy.
On Sept. 9, he was booked with one count of public intimidation after he threatened to have the deputy fired “if you put your hands on me,” according to court records. An affidavit of probable cause says Duvall “continued being aggressive by making further racial comments.”