Corrections deputy resigns after punching inmate

Caught in the middle of a jail-cell door tug of war with an inmate, Deputy Louis Valentin stepped in and throws a punch. 

"It was unjust. There was no need for it," said Sheriff Rick Wells. 

A surveillance camera recorded the incident at the county jail on August 4.

Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells was disturbed by what he saw. 

"This inmate was not being violent. Really no need to use any type of hands on approach with them," he said. 

According to a report, Valentin heard loud banging and yelling from a cell. He found the inmate responsible and took him to the disciplinary exercise yard. While closing the door, the inmate pushed his hands through an opening and tried pulling the door toward him. 

That's when, the video shows, Valentin steps in and punches. 

"He let his emotions come into play. You can’t do that in law enforcement. You know people are going to say things to you. We are held to a higher standard and unfortunately he let his emotions get to him," said Sheriff Wells. 

Valentin resigned during the investigation and could still face battery charges. 

"It really tarnishes the image of the nearly 300 employees that I have there at the jail that do the right thing each and every day and do their job," said Sheriff Wells. 

Valentin is the fourth correction deputy investigated for excessive force in two years. 

Paul Wagner was charged with felony battery in 2017 after he slammed an inmate to the ground and caused a broken nose and teeth. 

Daniel Bower was charged with battery after an incident in April. 

On March 29, Tyler Lamond struck an inmate several times after he was hanging on his cell door. 
Lamond was charged with battery. 

Now all detention deputies are going through additional training. 

"We are just trying to refresh their memory and try and make sure they understand the difference between a good arrest and excessive force," said Sheriff Wells. 

The sheriff said this behavior has no place in his jail. 

"We are doing our best to make sure they understand these cases won’t be tolerated," he added.