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Posted: 9:37 p.m. Thursday, July 19, 2012
By Jeff Smith
SALISBURY, N.C. —
Eyewitness News has learned two Rowan County detention officers have been fired after being accused of beating an inmate unconscious in May. The Rowan County sheriff wouldn't go into details about why the two officers were fired, but confirmed it was because of these accusations. Detention Center Officers Rafael Pla and Marcos Rodriguez were terminated on June 1. The alleged victim, Ronald Link, said he plans on suing the Sheriff's Office for damages and is considering filing criminal charges against the officers. "I had knots up (on my head), my face was bleeding, my eye swelled shut," Link said. Link said he still has difficulty breathing because he suffered a broken nose. He said he was knocked unconscious. "I woke up after, and I got blood running down me, running down my chest," he said. Link admitted he was in a mentally unstable state when he was arrested after fighting with his wife in late May. He said he mixed alcohol with his prescription pills. Link was tied down at the Rowan County Detention Center. "I was in the chair. I couldn't move nothing but my head," he said. He said the officers wouldn't let him go to the bathroom, so he yelled and cursed at them. "This one officer came in and said, 'You said what?' And he come around it was Officer Pla and he hit me in the eye. I don't know what else happened after that because he knocked me out," Link said. Pla is not charged with any crime. He wasn't home when an Eyewitness News stopped by his house to get his version of events. Eyewitness News asked Link about his own actions in the jail. He said even though he cursed, he was fully restrained and officers had no reason to hit him. Eyewitness News is still waiting to hear from the Sheriff's Office to find out if Pla and Rodriguez will still keep their pensions or retirement benefits.
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