Citrus County Detention Facility (File)

A proposed Baker Act treatment facility and campus would be housed on 30 acres of Citrus County property near the jail in Lecanto.

Editor's Note: This story was updated with a statement from CoreCivic.

A dispute over breakfast with an inmate led to the arrest and battery charges against a Citrus County jail guard.

Pasco County deputies arrested Bradford Demone Diggs, 45, June 22, 2020, following a Citrus County warrant for his arrest after Citrus County deputies’ investigation concluded the guard hit an inmate repeatedly and threw him against a wall, according to CCSO reports. Diggs is now facing misdemeanor battery charges and bonded out of jail.

The Citrus County jail is operated by the private company CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America. 

CoreCivic spokesman Ryan Gustin said Diggs is no longer employed by  the company.

"CoreCivic is committed to providing high quality, compassionate treatment to all those in our care," Gustin wrote in an email, "and our operational policies and procedures reflect that."

The investigating Citrus County deputy reported that he was called to the jail and, with a senior guard, reviewed security tapes of the incident and spoke with witnesses.

Although much of the report is redacted to protect the victim and other inmate witnesses, the alleged battery began when one inmate did not want to eat breakfast and gave his food to another inmate. Diggs was in the jail pod and was in charge of breakfast distribution.

The security tape showed that Diggs had become involved in a heated discussion with a second inmate and then Diggs walked over to the inmate victim seated at one of the tables, according to arrest documents.

The victim told the investigating deputy that one of the inmates had given him his breakfast and that Diggs was angry about it, according to arrest documents. The victim told the investigating deputy that Diggs began cursing at him and the victim responded by asking Diggs not to curse at him.

The victim told the investigating deputy that Diggs than said, “If you don’t like the way I talk, then (expletive) you honky,” according to arrest documents. Diggs is African American.

The victim told the investigating deputy that once a racial slur was made against him he hurled racial slurs back at Diggs, according to arrest documents.

The victim told the investigating deputy Diggs told him to get up from his chair and he refused until another guard arrived and told him to get up. The video showed the second guard placing his hands on Diggs’ chest in an effort to calm him, according to arrest documents. The victim got up and started walking away when the victim said, and the security video showed, Diggs going after the inmate victim and hitting him in the back of the head and shoving his face against a wall and then throwing him onto  the ground, according to arrest documents.

The victim was on his hands and knees with Diggs standing over him and continuing to hit him on the head as the victim tried to cover himself from the blows, according to the arrest documents The investigating deputy also interviewed several other guards and inmates who witnessed the incident.

The investigating deputy reported that guard captain Thomas Hare told him he relieved Diggs after the incident and sent him home. 

Following the investigation the State Attorney's Office issued a warrant for Diggs arrest. He was arrested in Pasco County. His bond was $1,000. 

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.