What began as a Cleveland, Ohio, woman’s simple request to let someone know she was in lockup quickly spiraled into a brutal attack by several Cuyahoga County Jail officers. Now, those same officers are facing charges.
Chantelle Glass was booked last summer into the Cuyahoga jail, where officers strapped her to a restraint chair, punched her, and unloaded half a can of pepper spray into her face. Glass, who suffer from asthma and could hardly breathe, said she thought the ordeal might kill her.
“That day, I thought I was going to die,” she told Cleveland.com, recalling how the guards left her tied to the chair as she sat in a small, dark room for nearly two hours, the pepper spray still filling her lungs.
“I sat in that cell I prayed to God that I wouldn’t die because I couldn’t breathe,” Glass added. “I prayed that I wouldn’t die there.”
Cpl. Idris-Farid Clark and Officer Robert Marsh were among the five jail officers indicted Monday in the violent attack against Glass. Both men are accused of strapping down the mother of three and assaulting her.
According to Cleveland.com, Clark is charged with is charged with second-degree felony assault and misdemeanor counts of assault, interfering with civil rights and unlawful restraint while Clark faces misdemeanor charges of assault, interfering with civil rights and unlawful restraint.
Marsh was arrested by police Monday and was scheduled for arraignment Tuesday, along with two other corrections officers. Clark turned himself in Thursday and was released from the same jail at which he works on a $5,000 bond.
The charges come some eight months after the July 16 attack, and Glass expressed frustration at the fact that the two were allowed to keep their jobs at the jail. Clark and Marsh were both placed on restrictive duty in August but remained on the job until April 9, when they were placed on paid administrative leave, the news site reported.
“I don’t understand why they were still working,” said Glass, 26. “It’s unjust they were still working and still getting a paychecks.”
The young mother found herself behind bars last July after her mom called local police after she and her sister had gotten into a heated argument. Both women were booked into the Cuyahoga County Jail, but Glass was forced to stay because of a warrant stemming from an unpaid traffic ticket from two years prior.
After being placed in a holding cell, Glass said she requested a phone call to let someone know she was in jail. She said the corrections officers refused, however, after she refused a guard’s demands to pick up a spoon.
That’s when a female officer reportedly told Glass, “Well, I’ll just have you maced and strapped to a chair.’ ” The threat only angered Glass, who began pounding on her jail cell.
She then called for a supervisor, Cpl. Clark, to speak with about making her phone call. Clark asked Glass if she would stop banging, to which the young woman agreed, but only if she was allowed her phone call. That’s when she said the officer placed her in handcuffs and called for backup.
Things took a turn for the worse when Marsh approached and immediately began roughing her up. Glass recalled the officers ordering her to the restraint chair as they exchanged insults, and accused Marsh of shoving her head. Once she was strapped in, that’s when Marsh struck her again.
What followed was a burning stream of pepper spray by Clark, who held the can about foot away from Glass’ face, according to court records. The ordeal only lasted about seven seconds, but Glass said it felt like several minutes.
“Everything was burning,” she told Cleveland.com. “I had bad aches and my eyes hurt. And I still didn’t get my phone call.”
Despite alerting officers of her struggle to breathe, Glass said she never received any medical treatment. Instead, she said guards locked her in a tiny cell by herself, doused her with water and made her sit there for two hours.
After her release two days later, an investigator at the jail sought Glass out and told her he was filing the report after watching security footage of the incident. Glass, who was never charged in the incident with her sister, said she is now mulling legal action against the county.
“I just want to see justice done,” she told the news site. “I’m going to be at every hearing to make sure something gets done about this. I don’t want this to happen to someone else.”