A detention deputy at the Land O’ Lakes jail is losing his job after being accused of battering an inmate.
Phillip Walters, 45, of Land O' Lakes entered a cell at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and grabbed inmate Trent Matthew Godizzaro around the neck and punched him in the head, according to an arrest report from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Godizzaro, who is in jail on a domestic battery charge, suffered a bruise and swelling on his forehead and abrasions on his neck.
Witness spied no aggressive behavior on Godizzaro’s part, according to the arrest report. Walters initially denied to a detective that the incident took place but later said Godizzaro sat up in an aggressive manner, and Walters had to push him back onto his bunk.
Pasco Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kevin Doll said that Walters joined the agency in March and has been on probationary status. Doll said Walters is being fired and that Walters would be informed of this by the end of the day Wednesday.
“Our employees are professionals,” Doll said. “They need to be professional.“
Walters was a corrections officer at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for 14 years, from 1996-2010. Prior to coming to the Sheriff’s Office, he was a warehouse worker in Tampa.
Walters was arrested early Wednesday morning and charged with battery.