Criminal Charges For S.F. Deputy Sheriffs Accused of Staging Jail Fights

Two current San Francisco sheriff's deputies and one ex-deputy — fired from the department after allegedly staging Fight Club-style “gladiator” battles between inmates at the S.F. County Jail — were charged with crimes by District Attorney George Gascón on Tuesday.

Former deputy Scott Neu, fired last year after Public Defender Jeff Adachi went public with his clients' accusations that they were forced to fight and gamble for their food or face punishment including beatings and macings, faces 17 charges, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Current deputies Eugene Jones and Clifford Chiba, both of whom still have their badges but are in positions not in contact with inmates, were charged with five felonies and three misdemeanors.

According to a press release from Gascón office, the charges came after a joint investigation with the FBI, the District Attorney's partner in a new “corruption task force.” But without the Public Defender stepping forward almost a year ago, it's unclear if the jail fights would ever have become public. 

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According to the inmates, Neu ran the jail like it was a sick and twisted combination of Oz and Fight Club. Neu, who reportedly has a tattoo saying “850 Mob” on his right arm and lower leg — 850 Bryant is the jail's address — would roam the jail with a pair of dice and a deck of cards and force inmates to gamble for their meals.

Inmate Ricardo Garcia said that he was forced to fight another inmate, Stanley Harris, on March 5 and March 6 of last year, and suffered an injury that may have been fractured ribs. The two inmates say they were forced to exercise against their will, and when they resisted, they faced beatings and the threat of being raped.

According to Gascón, Neu was the ringleader, but other deputies like Chiba stood and watched while the fights went on. Chiba also allegedly gave a fighter advice about “how to proceed in a subsequent round” of fighting.

The allegations became public after Garcia's father told his son's lawyer, a public defender, about the fighting. No mention of the public defender was made in Gascón's announcement, which reminds you that it's not just inmates who don't get along.

Here's a summary of the charges, as per Gascón:

Scott R Neu
Felony Counts: Assault by Officer under Color of Authority (4 counts); Criminal Threats (4 counts).
Misdemeanor Counts: Inhumanity to Prisoner (4 counts); Cruel and Unusual Punishment of Prisoner (5 counts).
Total: 17 counts.
Exposure: 10 years and 2 months in State Prison. If convicted, he faces disqualification from holding any office in the state.

Eugene A Jones
Felony Counts: Assault by Officer under Color of Authority (2 counts).
Misdemeanor Counts: Cruel and Unusual Punishment of Prisoner (2 counts); Willful Omission to Perform Official Duty (1 count).
Total: 5 counts.
Exposure: 5 years and 2 months of Local Imprisonment pursuant to 1170(h). If convicted, he faces disqualification from holding any office in the state.

Clifford T Chiba
Misdemeanor Counts: Cruel and Unusual Punishment of Prisoner (2 counts); Willful Omission to Perform Official Duty (1 count).
Total: 3 counts.
Exposure: 1 year and 6 months in County Jail. If convicted, he faces disqualification from holding any office in the state. 

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