Florida sheriff’s deputy fired after being caught on video repeatedly striking an inmate in a wheelchair
- Deputy Aaron Hull, 46, can be seen in the Pinellas County Jail video kicking a chair and violently poking inmate Taylor Schuessler, 24, before striking him
- Hull admitted to ‘inappropriate contact’ with inmate, who is unable to walk on his own, to a review board regarding the incident
- The deputy had another escalation incident on his record in 2015 when he flipped a table in anger approaching another inmate
A Florida sheriff’s deputy has been fired after he was caught on camera hitting an inmate in a wheelchair.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s officials said in an email that 46-year-old Deputy Aaron Hull was fired Thursday for using excessive force on an inmate on September 24.
‘One of the most troubling parts of it is it was done out of anger,’ Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the Tampa Bay Times, ‘and he was going after a disabled person who can’t walk and can’t defend himself.’
An investigation found that Hull was counseling a group of inmates who were creating a disturbance while the unit was on lockdown.
In the surveillance video, Deputy Aaron Hull can be seen walking over to Taylor Schuessler while pointing his finger at the inmate in the wheelchair
Hull grabbed Schuessler at the back of the neck at times poking him aggressively in the head
When Schuessler spits at the deputy, Hull gives the inmate multiple forceful strikes about the head
Investigators say 24-year-old Taylor Schuessler verbally challenged Hull and other inmates. Hull told Schuessler to stop but he refused. Hull got up and kicked a chair away before walking towards the inmate.
Surveillance video at the jail shows Hull poke Schuessler multiple times in the head while holding his neck. Schuessler spit toward Hull’s face. Hull then struck Schuessler three times in the face.
Taylor Schuessler, 24, shown, was struck repeatedly after a verbal altercation with Deputy Aaron Hull. Schuessler requires a wheelchair for mobility
‘Kicking a chair is not the best action I could have taken,’ Deputy Hull said to a review board. ‘Poking him in the head while not a use of force, per se, was probably inappropriate contact.’
Hull says he attempted to call for help, but the radio battery was dead. He also did not have his ‘duress alarm’ with him, according to the Times.
When Hull began moving Schuessler’s wheelchair away after the altercation, the deputy said the inmate attempted to strike him with his elbows, fist and head. Hull then can be seen on video clutching Schuessler around his torso until he stopped attempting to hit him.
In 2015, Hull was disciplined for similar behavior after he flipped a table, damaging it, when confronting another inmate according to CBS 12 News.
Schuessler was arrested on January 29 of last year for the discharging of a destructive device, according to records. He was was released on November 16, and declined to have Deputy Hull prosecuted.
When Hull attempted to remove Schuessler from the location, the inmate attempts to strike the deputy again which prompts Hull to wrap his arms around the inmate
Hull eventually subdued and relocated Schuessler, but the exchange caught on video cost him his job