Tarrant County

Tarrant Inmate Allegedly Beaten by Guard Had Broken Ribs, Cheek, Collapsed Lung: Sheriff's Office

New details emerge in case of three Tarrant County detention officers arrested Wednesday

tarrant county jail
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Three Tarrant County jail officers were arrested after one of them slammed an inmate into a concrete bunk and punched him, breaking the man's ribs and cheek and causing his lung to collapse, according to court documents released Thursday.

The inmate, Corey Rodrigues, who has been in the Tarrant County Jail since June 4 on a parole violation, was hospitalized two days later.

The officer who allegedly assaulted Rodrigues, Reginald Lowe, was arrested for aggravated assault with serious bodily injury.

The other two, Lewis Velasquez and Dakota Coston, were arrested for official oppression.

corey rodrigues
NBC 5 News
Corey Rodrigues

The Tarrant County Sheriff's Office said none of the three wrote a report on the use of force, as required.

The case was investigated after Rodrigues told a jail nurse that he had been assaulted at about 5 a.m. July 19.

An investigator who reviewed the surveillance video said it showed the inmate "swinging an object at the officers as he backs up to the back of the cell."

"The inmate is then slammed to the bunk and the first officer appears to be punching the inmate" six times, the investigator wrote in the arrest affidavit. "The third officer is kicking a clothing object out of the cell while the second officer is standing in the cell and appears to be watching the altercation."

The investigator also outlined his interviews with the three officers in the affidavit.

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Tarrant County Jail guards pictured L-R: Dakota Coston, Reginald Lowe and Lewis Velasquez.

Velasquez described the incident as a "tussle" that didn't need to be reported.

Coston claimed Lowe used "passive guidance" that was "a normal thing" in jail that did not need to be reported.

Lowe said he grabbed Rodrigues by the "back of the neck, swept his left leg, and assisted him to the ground." He also said he punched Rodrigues in the ribs and then hit him in the brachial nerve near his neck with an opened hand.

Lowe admitted the incident should have been reported, according to the affidavit.

"Out of all the interviews, no officer could explain or come close to explaining anything near what the video showed or the injuries to Rodrigues," the investigator wrote.

Rodrigues' attorney, Bob Gill, said he was looking into what happened and hadn't been notified promptly by the sheriff's office.

Rodrigues was sentenced to 12 years in prison for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Dallas County, according to state prison records. He was paroled in January 2020.

In addition to the parole violation, he also is being held on a charge of harassing detention officers on June 30, according to jail records.

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