Lebanon corrections officer indicted for assaulting inmate

Lebanon corrections officer indicted for assaulting inmate
A Warren County corrections officer was indicted for assaulting an inmate, court documents say.

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - A corrections officer in Lebanon was indicted for assaulting an inmate, court documents say.

Lebanon Correctional Institution employee John Hinkle assaulted inmate Malcolm Cox, causing him ‘serious harm,'Prosecutor David Fornshell says.

Fornshell says Cox and other inmates were handcuffed and being moved in a hallway inside the institution when they began kicking and spitting on each other. That’s when officers stepped in to stop the incident.

Corrections officers were able to diffuse the situation and Cox was becoming compliant, Fornshell says, when Hinkle came from an area nearby with his baton.

Cox was still handcuffed and in a crouching position on his knees when Hinkle approached him from behind, took a two-handed ‘baseball’ swing at Cox’s head, and broke his jaw, causing lacerations.

Fornshell says Cox needed surgery to set his jaw which was then wired shut for recovery.

Corrections officers are not permitted to strike an inmate in the head with a PR-24 unless there is imminent threat of death or serious physical harm to the corrections officer or others.  That absolutely did not exist here.  In the seconds leading up to the assault, the inmate had started to become compliant, was in the process of going to his knees per commands, was handcuffed, and was completely turned away from Hinkle.  The assault was brutal and completely unnecessary.
Prosecutor David Fornshell

Court documents show Hinkle was indicted on two counts of felonious assault.

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