Update: The deputy accused of spiking an inmate's pizza with pepper spray has resigned. A disciplinary hearing was scheduled for Thursday at 9am.
FRANKLIN COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - A Franklin County prison guard is accused of intentionally spraying mace on a pizza, then giving it to an inmate. That inmate, Ricky Walton, reportedly shared the pizza with three other inmates, and all four got sick.
Meanwhile, according to Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke, the guard admitted to using his pepper spray in the building, but the rest of his story is entirely different.
Toelke explains, “He said when he test-fired the canister in a janitor’s closet sink, he accidentally got some of the spray on the pizza that he was eating.” Then, this deputy says he let Walton into that closet to get a roll of toilet paper. He says Walton saw the pizza and snatched it.
But Walton’s sister, Katelyn, finds it farfetched that her brother could somehow sneak the pizza past the guards. She explains, “Everybody knows you don’t walk through those halls unless there’s a cop right there beside you. And he’s handcuffed when he’s taken out.”
What isn’t up for debate is that these inmates ingested pepper spray with their pizza. Toelke says, “There were a couple of them that had stomach issues, stomach pain.”
“He said his throat was hurting really bad, he was puking a lot, which was causing irritation in his stomach,” adds Katelyn Walton.
A disciplinary hearing for this deputy is scheduled for later this week. If he is found guilty of violating policy, this pepper sprayed pizza could cost him his job.
In the meantime, the deputy is suspended with pay, and the Walton family is eager for justice.
“It’s not right,” says Katelyn Walton, “We’re all human. We don’t need to be treated like that. You wouldn’t feed a dog pepper spray, why would you feed a human?”