Charges dropped against Lake County correctional officers in 2019 inmate beating

Inmate recorded beating of another inmate in July 2019

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Charges against three Lake County correctional officers accused in the 2019 beating of an inmate have been dropped.

According to a filling made on Oct. 27, the State Attorney’s Office cited “insufficient evidence to prove one or more elements of the crimes charged” against Ian Gretka, Milton Gass, Hunter Lingo and Joshua Petersilge.

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In July 2019, a YouTube video recorded by an inmate showed Lake County correctional officers repeatedly attacking another inmate.

In the video, the inmate recording says, “This is why we’re in fear of our life.” He identified some of the officers at Lake Correctional Institution by name and rank.

Former Florida Department of Corrections secretary Mark Inch said in 2019 the video was “deeply disturbing.”

“We have zero tolerance for officer abuse or misconduct for any reason. The actions of these individuals will not be tolerated. Our Office of Inspector General has launched an immediate investigation. All officers identified to be involved have been taken out of contact with inmates and will not be allowed to return to full duty until a thorough investigation has been completed. Those found participating in any level of abuse, or failing to properly report abuse, will be subject to administrative and criminal charges,” Inch said.

The video shows Otis Miller on the ground and surrounded by a group of officers who deliver multiple blows. The men narrating the video claim Miller’s head was swollen.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.