CLEARWATER — Two former Pinellas County detention deputies were arrested Tuesday after allegedly falsifying reports about an altercation with an inmate.
Mark Capanna, 44, of New Port Richey, was released from the Pinellas County Jail after posting $5,000 bail, according to arrest and jail records, and Klaus P. Reinert, 40, was released after posting $5,250 bail.
The incident happened about 1:40 a.m. on Oct. 4, while Capanna and Reinert were working at the jail, his arrest affidavit says.
According to investigators, inmate Casio Burton, 28, who was about to be transferred to the Pasco County Jail to face pending charges, raised his hand to ask Capanna about his visitation list.
Detectives say that Reinert, who was in the jail control room with Capanna, went out and used profanity to ask the inmate what he wanted. Following the exchange, Reinert returned to the control room. Burton, meanwhile, continued to try to get Capanna’s attention.
Investigators say Reinert came out of the control room once again and argued with Burton, escalating to the point where Reinert punched Burton in the face. Burton then struck Reinert, who fell to the ground. Reinert got up and continued to fight with Burton until Capanna pulled the two apart.
Detectives say neither detention deputy reported the incident or documented the use of force as per policy. Detectives began investigating the matter after several inmates who witnessed the physical altercation reported it to jail staff. An Internal Affairs investigation was launched as well.
Capanna knowingly falsified an incident report to avoid punishment for failing to document a use of force incident at the jail, the arrest affidavit says. He told investigators that Reinert had slipped on a wet floor when the inmate approached him in an aggressive manner, detectives said.
Reinert faces a charge of official misconduct, along with a charge of misdemeanor battery on an inmate, the sheriff’s office said.
Capanna and Reinert turned themselves in today, the sheriff’s office said.
Capanna has worked for the sheriff’s office since 1990, Reinert since 2001. Both detention deputies resigned while under investigation.