Pa. Guards Deny Abuse In “Scared Straight” Case


Four of five guards at Pittsburgh’s Shuman Juvenile Detention Center guards charged criminally in a “scared straight” incident denied that they hurt a 13-year-old boy who told police they brutalized him, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The boy’s father took him to the center Easter morning to show him what could happen if he didn’t stop calling his female schoolteachers names. The guards “in no way, shape or form caused damage to the child or risked damage or harm to the child,” said attorney John Elash.

A given with permission of Shuman supervisors was reportedly no different from numerous previous guard-escorted visits by teens. The boy, who has never been charged with a crime, told police his father put him in the hands of guards who threw him to the ground, stripped off his pants, forced him to put on a uniform, shoved him against a wall, choked him, cursed at him, spat on him and permitted two detainees to taunt him. He suffered bruises, muscle spasms, and a swollen neck. Elash called it “an atrocity” for county police to have taken the word of a 13-year-old and “a black mark on county government.”


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