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District Attorney’s Office to Probe Beating of Jail Inmate

May 4, 1992

DENVER (AP) _ The county prosecutor’s office will investigate allegations that a sheriff’s deputy beat a city jail inmate so badly that the man’s eye came out of its socket and he may lose it, officials said.

Deputy Augustine Garcia and two unidentified deputies are the subjects of an internal investigation by the police and sheriff’s departments over the treatment of Barry Allen Wheeler on April 25. Wheeler, 41, was arrested for alleged trespassing and drunkenness.

The investigation was to be turned over today to the Denver County district attorney, officials said.

The deputies were suspending with pay while awaiting the probe’s outcome.

Garcia is already the subject of a civil rights lawsuit in federal court alleging brutality in March 1991. In that case, Garcia and Deputy Norman Silva allegedly beat Air Force Sgt. Daniel Avsec while the military man was handcuffed and awaiting bail on a disturbance charge.

The district attorney’s office is investigating the Avsec case charges, Director of Corrections John Simonet said.

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