Two Lorton Reformatory guards were arrested yesterday on warrants charging them with maliciously wounding an inmate, the first such arrests of D.C. correctional officers, officials said.
The two guards, Lionel Floyd and Craig A. Bates, were indicted by a Fairfax County grand jury on Monday and bench warrants were issued for their arrests, police said. Although the reformatory is a District facility, it is in Fairfax and county officials have jurisdiction over Youth Center I, where the guards worked.
The D.C. Department of Corrections asked county police to investigate after inmate Paul Morris, 23, was beaten on Aug. 31, a D.C. corrections official said. She said Morris was treated at the correctional infirmary for lacerations and bruises on his shoulders, hands and head.
"My client did not do anything to provoke this," Morris' attorney John Roberts said yesterday. "He was handcuffed during the whole beating."
According to Roberts, Morris had an unprovoked run-in with a guard and then was handcuffed and taken to the officers' billiard room, where he was beaten by two guards with what appeared to be a blackjack and a leather belt with a walkie-talkie attached.
Roberts said Morris tried to take refuge under the pool table but was knocked unconscious and woke up lying on a bench.
In addition to the bruises, Morris now has blurred vision in his left eye, may lose a tooth and received stitches in the back of his head, Roberts said.
Morris, who has served four years at the facility on drug charges, has been placed in protective custody, according to Roberts. He said his client is vice president of the Resident Advisory Committee, which takes inmate complaints to the administration.
According to a corrections official, the duties of Bates, 28, and Floyd, 39, who have been employed as guards at the facility for 3 1/2 and eight years respectively, were revised immediately after the incident was reported.
Since that time, the guards have had no contact with inmates, she said.
The corrections official said an internal investigation into the incident is continuing, and the department has no further comment.
After their arrests yesterday, Bates of Fairfax, and Floyd in Temple Hills, were taken to the Adult Detention Center in Fairfax where they were held without bond pending a hearing.
Malicious wounding, a felony, carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.