YORK, PA (WHP/CNN) - Three prison guards are facing charges that could land them on the other side of the prison bars.
Police say the three men organized fights between inmates and bribed them with food.
State police say the events all happened in the south block of York County prison, under the organization of corrections officers David Whitcomb, Mark Haynes and Daniel Graff.
"Obviously, as an officer of the law you're held to a higher standard," State Police Trooper Robert Hicks said. The two inmates, David Wright and James Hicks, were the targets - but agreed to the abuse in exchange for food and coffee, Hicks said.
"Obviously, these inmates are in prison for a reason, but that being said, it still doesn't give anybody the right to mistreat them or abuse them," he said.
The inmates reported the corrections officers would organize fights between the two inmates and also fight them in closets themselves.
Both inmates told investigators they had been punched repeatedly to the point they went numb in their arms and legs, and the fights sometimes involved being choked.
The reports also said one of the inmates also told police about what they had dubbed "retard Olympics."
Hicks described it as "try(ing) to drink a gallon of milk in an hour, trying to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon, eat fruit with the peels left on, drink water that had pepper foam in it, snort crushed up candy, snorts spicy vegetable powder."
Whitcomb has been in the headlines before. In March 2013, he was shot during an argument at a York County pizza bar. The man accused of shooting him in the hip was a former inmate in Whitcomb's block.
At the time, while recovering in the hospital, Whitcomb told York newspaper The Daily Record, "I'm not a trouble-starter," and of the inmates he said, "I treat them like people. … As long as you're firm, fair and consistent in what you do, you have an easy work day."
According to the Patriot-News, the three men are charged with official oppression. Prison officials say they are currently on unpaid administrative leave.
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