Denver sheriff’s deputy fired after locking inmate in closet, making infrequent rounds

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DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver Sheriff Department deputy was fired after locking an inmate in a janitorial closet and making infrequent rounds, according to documents obtained by FOX31 and Channel 2 Wednesday.

Documents from the Denver Department of Public Safety (DDPS) show that former Deputy Onesimo Garcia locked the inmate in the closet so he could do a “quick round.”

In an interview, Garcia admitted it was “the wrong thing to do” and that it violated DSD policy.

He also reportedly left the janitorial closet unlocked, allowing inmates to access cleaning supplies. In one incident, two inmates were in the closet at once.

“By failing to secure the Janitor’s Closet and permitting inmates to access the closet and its contents for whatever activities they chose, Deputy Garcia failed to exercise sound judgment and act with the highest standard of care to ensure the safety of the inmates housed within the pod to which he was assigned,” DDPS said in a letter regarding Garcia’s termination.

Moreover, Garcia was found to have made rounds less frequently than is required.

According to the document released by DDPS, deputies should make rounds at least twice an hour. However, video shows Garcia making less frequent rounds on at least three instances on March 4, 2020. At one point, one hour and three minutes elapsed between rounds.

“The misconduct here demonstrates a pattern of blatant disregard for the rules and indifferent to inmate safety,” DDPS said.

The document states that retaining Garcia on staff would create “a serious legal and financial risk to the Department and the City.”

In a separate incident, Garcia was admitted to changing the dates on receipts so he did not have to pay as much for parking while at work. He was also disciplined in 2019 for sleeping while on duty. However, he was not terminated for those actions.

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