LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — We’re learning more details about what happened in the alleged beating of a CCDC inmate. Correctional officers Nicolas Diaz and Eduardo Bueno have since been arrested for the beating and face the following charges:
- Battery (x2)
- Conspiracy to Commit Oppression Under the Color of the Office
- Oppression Under Color of Office
After interviewing several inmates and two CCDC employees, Metro police arrived at the conclusion of Officers Diaz and Bueno having committed the offenses alleged.
Witnesses say the incident began after 3 a.m. on February 21 when the victim activated his emergency light to get the attention of correctional officers. Officer Diaz then went to the inmate’s cell to see why it was activated. The witness reportedly asked Diaz why he wasn’t out on bail yet. Diaz gave the inmate a “smart ass” response, to which the inmate either punched or kicked his cell door, resulting in a loud “bang” that could be heard throughout the cellblock.
According to a third officer on shift, Diaz returned to his post and called another officer in a different area. Officer Donell Jones said he witnessed Diaz talk to another officer in Spanish before hanging up the phone. Later, Officer Bueno joined Diaz and Jones at the command post.
Bueno and Diaz then put on gloves, Diaz grabbed a roll of toilet paper and the two went upstairs. Diaz allegedly told Jones the inmate had said he needed toilet paper. Diaz then had Jones turn off the lights near the cell where the soon-to-be victim was.
Diaz and Bueno then entered the cell, closed the door most of the way behind them and began beating the inmate, who was described as a “troublemaker” by another employee. Yells of obscenities were heard from the officers, along with cries from the inmate. Several witnesses reported hearing these sounds.
Following the beating, the officer then told the inmate to get under his bunk and stay there “until after breakfast,” as the officers made their way out of the cell. The inmate who was attacked, and his cellmate, were each brought breakfast to their cell, instead of being allowed to join other inmates for breakfast in the mess hall. One CCDC employee recalled never seeing that before, except in times of full lockdown.
The victim told police he tried to file a grievance and wanted medical attention, but was denied it by one of the correctional officers. He waited until a shift change and later reported the incident around 1 p.m.
A nurse evaluated the inmate and recommended he be taken to UMC for further testing. The inmate had a visible knot above one of his eyes.
Surveillance video further confirmed the stories of the victim and witnesses, showing the two officers entering the cell around 3:30 a.m. and exiting about a minute and a half later. The lights were also confirmed to be off in the area.
Officers Diaz and Bueno both declined to provide interviews to Metro police under direction from their attorneys. They told police they were invoking their Fifth Amendment rights.
Both officers are now facing charges related to the beating.