Former cell block attendant Matthew J. Jaskula, already convicted and facing prison time for abusing an inmate, found himself Thursday facing a new allegation – cocaine use.
Jaskula, 27, stopped short of admitting he used the drug, but his lawyer acknowledged during a bail hearing that he tested positive for cocaine last week.
The allegations of drug use followed Jaskula's guilty plea and admission last month that he pushed handcuffed suspect Shaun P. Porter face first into a metal door while working at the city cellblock in May of last year.
Now 27, Jaskula made the admission as part of a felony plea agreement that includes a recommended sentence of up to 21 months in federal prison. He is currently awaiting sentencing.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo did not revoke Jaskula's $5,000 bail but warned him that any future drug use will result in him immediately going to prison. He also modified Jaskula's bail conditions to limit his travel to Western New York and to require stepped up drug testing.
"Zero tolerance," Vilardo said at Thursday's hearing to address the positive test for cocaine. "As sure as we're sitting here, if you violate, you'll be incarcerated."
Defense attorney Paul G. Dell and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Guerra III said they agreed with Vilardo's decision to alter Jaskula's bail conditions.
As part of his plea agreement last month, Jaskula admitted shoving Porter, 37, handcuffed and facing a wall at the time, face first into a door while he was being housed at the cellblock.
Jaskula’s actions, caught on jailhouse cameras, caused the victim to hit his face on the door and, while falling to the ground, to strike his face on the ledge of a shelf.
After hitting the floor face first, Porter became limp and unresponsive and, according to court papers, Jaskula grabbed him again and dragged him more than 10 feet to an open cell.
Porter is suing the city and Jaskula.
The Buffalo News, which has sought release of the video of Jaskula's actions, has asked Supreme Court Justice Tracey A. Bannister to reconsider her decision to keep it from the public.
The News, according to its attorney, said the court "should direct that the recordings be released immediately."
Jaskula pleaded guilty last month to a felony charge of deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law.