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Buffalo cellblock attendant charged with beating handcuffed suspect

A Buffalo cellblock attendant was charged Thursday with roughing up a handcuffed suspect and dragging his bloodied body into an empty cell.

Matthew Jaskula, 26, of Buffalo, had just been promoted when the incident in the cellblock area of Police Headquarters took place last month, federal prosecutors say.

Jaskula is charged with deprivation of rights under color of law and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

“As our office has demonstrated in the past, we will not tolerate the alleged abuse of any individual in custody,” U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said in a statement.

Court papers outlining the allegations against Jaskula claim he instructed the handcuffed suspect to face a wall, and then grabbed him from behind and shoved him face-first into a door.

Prosecutors said Jaskula’s actions caused the victim to hit his face on the door and, while falling to the ground, strike his face on the ledge of a shelf before hitting the floor face-first.

The victim became limp and unresponsive before Jaskula grabbed him again and, this time, dragged him 10 to 15 feet down a hallway to an open cell, according to court papers. The papers indicate the suspect was bleeding profusely and, while being dragged into the room, hit his head hit on the door frame, causing more blood to spill on the floor.

Jaskula later placed the victim in a restraint chair used for uncooperative prisoners and left him, without medical treatment for his facial injuries, for about an hour and 45 minutes, according to prosecutors.

His actions were caught on videotape, they also claimed.

The criminal complaint against Jaskula says he told two lieutenants on duty that the prisoner had a bloody nose and later indicated the bleeding had stopped and he was refusing medical treatment.

Investigators said the victim eventually complained of chest pains and was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was treated for a broken nose and a cut between his right eye and nose.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Guerra said Jaskula began working as a cellblock attendant in 2013 and was promoted to senior cellblock attendant on May 19, the same day as the incident.

Jaskula, who was investigated by the FBI, will make an initial appearance Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer.

email: pfairbanks@buffnews.com